Astronomy Education Resources:


NASA Wavelength
NASA's educational activities library

NASA's Image Library
Images from NASA, free for use

Skymaps
Free, downloadable map of the sky designed to help you identify planets, stars and major constellations, find star clusters, follow comets and learn about the night sky

Stellarium
Free, open source application for your computer that shows you an image of the sky in 3D

Zooniverse's MoonZoo
Did you see the Moon tonight? Help scientists learn about the surface of the Moon by identifying craters and mounds.

Zooniverse
Did you see any planets? Help planetary scientists discover what the weather is like on Mars! Explore the Red Planet.

Solar System Simulation!
Explore the night sky with this incredible 3D simulation of our Solar System!

NASA Solar System Exploration
Learn about the planets and current NASA missions! Also check out the Solar System themed educational resources and activities!

Recommended Activities:

It is always a good idea to have additional activities planned for your events to ensure a stress-free, fun, and educational event. Here are some activities to get you started. We have organized them according to the age level they are appropriate for, but some age ranges are wide, so make sure to read through them all! Additional ideas can be found on the sites listed above.

Early Elementary School Level:

Oreo Moon Phases
Have you ever wondered why the moon doesn't always seem to be shaped the same? Use this easy and delicious activity to investigate why we see different phases of the moon throughout each month. This activity takes about 20 minutes.
Topic: The Moon and Earth
Grades: 1-5

Lunar Cratering Activity
Students will explore how craters form on the moon’s surface with this interactive activity. This activity takes about 10 minutes.
Topic: The Moon
Grades: 2-6

Middle/Upper Elementary School Level:

Make your own Star Finder!
Learn about this month’s visible constellations by making your own star finder! This activity takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Topic: Stars
Grades: 3-6

Why Do We Put Telescopes in Space
This activity helps explain why telescopes in space can be more effective than telescopes on Earth. Explains the twinkling of stars, and describes atmospheric conditions affecting telescopes. Activity takes about 20 minutes.
Topic: Telescopes
Age: Grades 3-7

3D Constellations
Create your own 3D constellations to better understand and visualize the way the stars are situated in the sky above. This activity takes about 30 minutes (not including prep).
Topic: Stars
Grades: 4-7

Active Accretion Tag
Use this educational tag game to teach students about how objects form in space. This game can take up to an hour and you need an open space large enough for tag.
Topic: Object Formation/Accretion
Grades: 5-7

Middle School Level:

Why Stars Twinkle
A kinesthetic activity about why stars twinkle and how astronomers combat this with adaptive optics (Note: You'll need some space for this activity)
Topic: Stars
Ages: Grades 6-8

A Universe of Supernovae
This activity illustrates the value of supernovae in the Universe. Participants will discover that almost all elements that make up the Earth and all its living things were created as a result of supernovae.
Topic: Supernovae
Ages: Grades 6-8

The Most Distant Galaxies
Look at an image of the Hubble Deep Field to investigate distant galaxies. Activity takes about 30 minutes.
Topic: Galaxies
Ages: Grades 5-9

Pocket Solar System
Make a paper scale size of the Solar System that kids can keep with them.
Topic: Solar system/Scale models
Age: Grades 5-9

Sorting the Solar System
Using images of Solar System objects, you can start a discussion of the characteristics of asteroids, comets, planets, and moons. Practice scientific thinking by sorting objects in categories according to their common qualities.
Topic: Solar system
Age: Grades 6-8

High School Level:

Solar Pizza Box Cooker
Learn about Solar heat and make your own solar powered pizza box oven! This activity takes between 1 and 2 hours.
Topic: The Sun
Grades: 6-9

Dry Ice Comets
Learn about the formation, composition and motion of comets! This activity is a little more involved and requires 30+ minutes to complete.
Topic: Comets
Grades: 4-12


Other Activities:

Solar Beads



The Science of Light & Using Your Diffraction Grating Slides


Moon Phases



Constellations




This activity will help you illustrate to others what eclipses are and how a lunar eclipse is different from a solar eclipse.


This is an interactive demonstration of how the rotation of the Earth is responsible for day and night.

Orbital Pennies Video and activity PDF
Activity PDF