Astronomy Lesson Plans

DSBK believes the sharing of resources between educators, parents, and the public alike is key to increasing our students' interest in and knowledge of science. On this page, you will find descriptions and links to astronomy lesson plans developed and adapted by the volunteers of DSBK, which can be downloaded free of charge and used at home or in a classroom. Our volunteers have spent hours working to develop these activities so we kindly ask that you do not use them in a for-profit context without our express permission.

Making Comets -- Physical Model

Making Comets

The students (individually or in small groups) build a physical analog of a comet, including carbon dioxide and water ices, dirt (for silicates), household cleaner (for ammonia), and corn syrup (for complex organic materials). As the carbon dioxide sublimates, students can observe the processes of outgassing and jets that lead to comet tails. Can be adapted for all ages. For younger students or limited time/space, the instructor can build a single comet to show everyone else.

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Invisible Light - Exploring Radio, Infrared, and Ultraviolet

Invisible Light

The students explore types of light that we cannot detect with our eyes but that are important to astronomers. In the ultraviolet (UV) light activity, students are shown a method of detecting UV light and test different SPF levels of sunscreen while doing a blinded experiment. Appropriate for ages 7-8 and up.

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Impacts and Craters

Craters

As asteroids and comets make their way into the public consciousness, let your students explore the science of impacts and craters. Kids will make their own craters and test how different types of impactors affect crater formation. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.

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Model Solar Systems

Our solar system is just a tiny part of the universe, but it is still vastly beyond our everyday experiences. Several fun and memorable ways of modeling the distances between planets can be used to give students a better picture of it. One such model can even fit in your pocket. Appropriate for all ages.

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Make Your Own Constellation

Looking up at the night sky has inspired people for thousands of years. In this lesson, students learn about constellations and their origin myths, and have an opportunity to create their own constellations.

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Bottle Rockets

This activity introduces the concepts related to rockets. Students create their own rockets and make predictions about how their rockets will behave after launch.

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