Students Programs for Groups of 30 Students or Fewer

The following activities are available for groups of 30 students and fewer. The activity you choose requires students to work in cooperative groups to explore concepts and practice science skills at a deeper level. We are happy to assist you in choosing the most appropriate classroom activity for your students. Recently we have added new activities that focus students' learning on our star, the Sun.

Activity (Grades) Pre-Visit Activity Post-Visit Activity
Our star the Sun
(K-5)
Students make safe observations of the Sun, witness Earth's rotation, and explore our sun model and word wall.
None Students draw the Sun and write what they know about the Sun. 
Shadow Play
(K-4)
Students investigate the Sun's apparent motion in the sky with shadows.

TEKS: Scientific Inquiry, 1.7, 4.6 TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (1, 3, 4)

None

Make shadows using objects of various shapes (cone, ball, block). Show how the shadow changes when the light is in a different position.

Draw shadows at school several times throughout the day (as in Teacher Guide).

Constellation Games
(K-3)

This activity centers on creativity and pattern finding.

TEKS: K.5, 1.5, 2.5

None Make own constellation based on another real (e.g. Orion or Leo) pattern. Make a story for your constellation.
Planet Tours
(3-6)

Students working in small groups research a member of our solar system.

TEKS 3.11, 6.13 TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (4)

Learn the names of planets in the solar system. Distance scale of solar system

Modelos a escala del Sistema Solar

Modeling the night sky from the Teacher Guide

Modelos del cielo nocturno

Solar System Science from the Teacher Guide

Ciencia del sistema solar
Making Scale Models (5-8)
Students discover the distance and volume scale of two Solar System objects.

TEKS: 5.12 TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (4) Grade 5 (1, 3)
None  
Modeling the Night Sky (3-8)
This solar system activity is a time scale model for the orbital motion of planets in our solar system.

TEKS: Scientific Inquiry, 3.11, 4.6, 5.5, 5.6, 5.12, 6.5 TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (1, 3, 4)
Learn the names of planets in the solar system. Distance scale of solar system

Modelos a escala del Sistema Solar

Finding locations of moon and planets on a monthly star chart, noting position of ecliptic.
Solar System Science (5-8)
Students explore and compare planets in our solar system.

TEKS Scientific Inquiry, 5.5, 5.12, 6.5, 6.13, Ast 9 (B&D) TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (1, 3, 4)
Learn the names of planets in the solar system. Distance scale of solar system

Modelos a escala del Sistema Solar

Modeling the night sky from the Teacher Guide

Modelos del cielo nocturno
Equatorial Sundial
(5-9)

Students build an equatorial sundial, and use it measure solar time compared to standard time.

TEKS: Scientific Inquiry, 5.6, 7.13 TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (1, 4)
Make a plot of sunrise and sunset times for your locations for several dates before your trip (one data set per week for several weeks is better than many points for one week). Data can often be found in local newspapers, or at:
US Naval Observatory
StarDate
Make a plot of sunrise and sunset times for your location over a period of several months. Predict the future shape of the curve.

Use the sundial once a month over several months, recording the time shown at clock noon. Use the SUTG to show why the clock time is not exactly the same as the sundial time everyday.
Reflection (Mirror, Mirror)
(5-9)

Student construct for themselves the law of reflection based on empirical evidence.

TEKS: 5.8 TAKS Objectives: Grade 5 (3)
None  
Our star the Sun
(6-8)
Students make safe observations of the Sun, witness Earth's rotation, explore our sun model and word wall, and learn about seasons.
None Students draw the Sun and write what they know about the Sun.
Telescope Technology (6-12)
Through this set of four problem solving challenges, students become members of a model HET. 90 minutes.

TEKS: 8.5
Reflection (REQUIRED)  
Our star the Sun
(9-12)
Students make safe observations of the Sun, witness Earth's rotation, learn about energy transport and multi-wavelength observations of the sun.
None Students draw the Sun and write what they know about the Sun.
Spectroscope (9-12)
Students build a spectroscope with a diffraction grating and common classroom materials.

TEKS: IPC 5, Chem 6 (A), Ast 6 (B) TAKS Objectives: Grade 10 (5)
Demonstrate flame spectra in the classroom. Colors of Stars -- For middle/high school,

Estrellas

For high school, other activities from the spectroscopy series
Make your own Galaxy
(9-12)

Students build a scale model of our Galaxy, identify major components, calculate scale distances, and compare neighboring galaxies to neighboring stars.
   
Colors of Stars
(9-10)

Students explore connections between matter, light, color and temp in the context of astronomy and stars.