Astronomy Day is October 8, 2016
The motto of Astronomy Day is “Bringing Astronomy to the People.” We’re trying to give the kids (and their families!) a taste of astronomy – to help them look up and realize their part in the universe. As Carl Sagan said, “We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
To help with that, here are some ideas and resources. Please let me or UVAC know if we can help you implement these!
- This year’s National Astronomy Day coincides with International Observe the Moon Night. People all over the world will be looking at the moon that night! The InOMN webpage is a fabulous resource, even if you have no astronomy experience. There are moon charts, and activities, and suggestions for how to host a moon party. I’m planning on sharing the family-specific one with as many people as I can.
- InOMN webpage: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/observe_the_moon_night/
- InOMN family moon party: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/observethemoonnight/activities/InOMN_Kit_Binder_Contents_9_2011.pdf
- We are encouraging Utah Valley Astronomy Club members to hold their own neighborhood star parties on or around Astronomy Day. Check the Facebook page or the website to see if there are any around your schools!
- UVAC website: http://utahvalleyastronomyclub.com
- UVAC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/utahvalleyastronomyclub
- There are lots of resources out there to do your own observing! This one is particularly useful. There are also lots of apps that will tell you what you are looking at. Members of UVAC like Skyview Free and Star Walk for beginners (hint: if you use the red mode, it helps save your night vision!)
- Beginning Astronomy: http://user.xmission.com/~alanne/AstronomyBeginning.html
- Here’s a video explaining the phases of the moon. You could even do this activity in the classroom so your kids could experience it themselves!
- Moon Phases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz01pTvuMa0
- Computer games. NASA has a whole kids-oriented section of their website. Kids can do puzzles, learn about things we use every day that started with the space program, play memory, and lots of other things. All of the games support national education standards in STEM.
- NASA Kid’s Club: https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html
- LEGO has teamed up with NASA to create a journey through space, with visits to the International Space Station, Mars and Jupiter, all made out of LEGO!
- Mission to Space with NASA!: http://www.lego.com/en-US/campaigns/mission-to-space-with-nasa/earth
- Space-themed Spirit Day the Friday before, where kids can wear any space clothes they have.
- There are lots of videos to watch, from explanations to rocket launches to space-careers in STEM.
- Art that is space-related. You could even do a contest! Make your own moon-footprint out of plaster, build a rocket out of recycled materials or get inspiration from the stunning pictures NASA has from space. There are also LOTS of free printable coloring pages.
- NASA Pictures: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/index.html