Projects, Activities, and Lessons for created by teachers for students ages 9-14.

This project is funded by International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation.)

Using only the sunlight striking the Earth and a wooden dowel, students can measure the circumference of the earth. Eratosthenes did it over 2,000 years ago. In Cosmos, Carl Sagan shared the process by which Eratosthenes measured the angle of the shadow cast at local noon when sunlight strikes a stick positioned perpendicular to the ground. By comparing his measurement to another made a distance away, Eratosthenes was able to calculate the circumference of the earth.

This project meets standards for Math, Science, Reading and Geography.

Students receive buttons for each activity.

Title: Moon Over Us

Authors: Bonnie Thurber, Hongfeng Guo

Grade Levels/Ages: grades 5-8, Middle School

Subject Areas: Science, Astronomy, Space Science, Language Arts, Art


Short Description:  In this project, students become cultural astronomers. They take a survey about the moon; draw images or take digital pictures of the moon once a week or more at approximately the same time each evening for one month to get the full cycle. After posting their images with time, date, latitude, and longitude, students research and compare each others' images of the moon; create more web pages that include poetry, history, beliefs, stories, and research. Students use dialogue, comments, and discussion to share their valuable insights. The project ends with a final survey and sharing reflections. Students receive iCollaboratory/Kidlink/SpacEdge Web Badges and certificates for completing each of the four sections of the project. Students also receive a certificate for completing all four sections of the project.

Title: Solar Eclipse Cybrary
Author:  Bonnie Thurber
Grade levels: 5-12
Subject/Topic areas: 
Standards: TBD 
Short Description:August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse is going to be showing across the United States.  This Cybrary includes some wonderful links to many many activities. 


"...the marketplace is being flooded by counterfeit eclipse glasses that are labeled as if they're ISO-compliant when in fact they are not." - from the American Astronomical Society

Safety first!! - Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers:

Written by: Suzanne Monir, Kimberly Tran, EIS Education Team Members, August 2016
Title: Introduction to Solar Eclipses
Grade (Age) Level: Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-14)
Pre-requisites: There are no pre-requisites for this course but familiarity with the solar system is recommended. 

In this project, students will be completing activities to learn more about the phenomenon of solar eclipses

Written by: Linda Smentek & Kimberly Tran, EIS Education Team Members, 2016
Topic: Mathematics
Title of Lesson: Does It Measure Up? Metrics vs US Measurements
Grade (Age): Gr 5-8 (Age: 10-13)

Only three countries in the world do not use the metric system - the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar. How does the metric system compare to the US Measurement system? (This will be revised)

NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research

They partner small groups of largely high school educators with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project.
The information found in this cybrary (An online collection of reference material. A library that provides electronic access to reference material). is also found in the NITARP resources.  Enjoy the NITARP  cybrary!
Contributor:  Lynne Zielinski, NSS Education Director

Written by: Frances Dellutri, Jr. High / Intermediate Level SpacEdge Education Team,

Topic: Art, Astronomy
Title of Lesson: Fly Me to the Moons - Middle School
Grade (Age) Level: Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-13)

Key Topics Associated With Standards:
Scale Properties, Astronomy, Solar System Models,  Proportion, Quantity, Interpreting Data, Gravity, Patterns, Math

US Standards:  NGSS:

Introduce students to scale models with this lesson plan. Students engage in different model perspectives and finally focus on making a model of one of our solar system's moons with features that are to scale.