While you are home and looking for one more thing to help with homeschooling or to entertain yourself or the family, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite websites. This is by no means a complete list of what’s out there.
Astronomy @ Home (grades K - 12): Weekly live storytime, lectures, and activities kids ages 3-15 from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
NASA STEM @ Home for Students (grades K - 4, 5 - 8): NASA has compiled a variety of activities, puzzles, games, stories, videos, and more for students to do at home.
McDonald Observatory from the University of Texas offers a wide variety of activities to explore astronomy. Here are a selection of our favorites to do at home:
Shadow Play (grades K - 5): Everyone and everything has a shadow. Shadows illustrate how three dimensional objects can be viewed in two dimensions. Younger students can learn about the Sun’s relative motion in the sky as they experiment with shadows
Observing The Moon (grades K - 5): Does the Moon always look the same? Does its surface look different at different times?
Seeing the Invisible: Dust in the Universe (grades K - 2; 3 - 5; 6 - 8; 9 - 12): Dust is all around us: at home, on Earth, and in space. Explore the properties of dust and the astronomical research of dust in space with these three inquiry based activities from McDonald Observatory.
Scale Models (grades 6 - 8): Use playdough to make two balls that represent different objects in the solar system. Can you guess which ones they represent? (Make your own playdough if you don’t already have some!)
Color of Stars (grades 9 - 12): Observe colors in the flame of a burning candle to explore connections between matter, light, color, and temperature
Stars and Galaxies (grades 9 - 12): Apply concepts of scale to grasp the distances between stars and galaxies. You will use this understanding to elaborate on the question, Do galaxies collide?
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific offers a list of K-12 classroom activities.
The Exploratorium hosts robust professional development programs, activities for classrooms, and other tools for teaching and learning.
Visit NASA Space Place for classroom activities for elementary kids.
Astronomy enthusiasts should also check out a monthly sky chart and viewing guide here.
Astronomy picture of the day https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
EarthSky, updates on the cosmos; astronomy news; sky events to look for; etc. https://earthsky.org/
Spot the Station: looking for International Space Station in the night sky. Put in your zip code, click on a locator icon near your home, then click on “View sighting opportunities”. https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/
Spaceweather, a website to explore the Sun-Earth system. Includes daily pictures of the Sun and aurora predictions. https://www.spaceweather.com/
Space.com, astronomy news https://www.nasa.gov/
NASA, news, activities, links to missions, and so much more. https://www.nasa.gov/
Infiniscope, Use real NASA data as you do exploratory activities. https://infiniscope.org/
WorldWide Telescope turns your computer into a telescope and brings together data and imagery from telescopes around the world; http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/webclient/
News and discoveries from the Mauna Kea Observatories, https://maunakeaobservatories.org/our-news/
NASA’s Space Place, information and activities, geared towards young people, but written so all ages (adults too!) can understand ideas https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/
SciJinks: It’s all about the Weather (sponsored by NOAA) SciJinks features information, illustrations, and learning tools. https://scijinks.gov/
Storytime from Space (Astronauts aboard International Space Station reading picture books) https://storytimefromspace.com/
My Sky Tonight, activities for Preschool / early learners from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. https://astrosociety.org/education-outreach/early-learners/my-sky-tonight.html
StarChild is a learning center for young astronomers ages 5-13 to learn about the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the universe beyond, https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/StarChild.html
Your Weight on Other Worlds, https://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/weight/
Latest earthquakes from USGS https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/
Khan Academy has a Cosmology & Astronomy section. https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/cosmology-and-astronomy?fbclid=IwAR3GexU3_uKAsQYod4AGZlTpQ3DnzgiLDvS0v0dgeXrz0udjjpO7U7KKxRo
Podcasts from NASA’s Johnson Space Center https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP
Bad Astronomy, http://www.badastronomy.com/index.html
Earth and Space Science
Delve into the study of plate tectonics and journey to the outer edges of the universe in with lessons and learnings in Earth and Space Science. Students can debate whether there is life in outer space with an interactive lesson from High-Adventure Science, analyze videos to compare the formation of tornadoes and avalanches, and follow directions to make a "Biome in a Baggie." Earth and Space Science examines the history and formation of the universe, the prediction of hurricanes and other types of weather, and the categorization of rocks and minerals. https://cptv.pbslearningmedia.org/subjects/science/earth-and-space-science/
Sky and Telescope has complied a list of online resources for grades K-12. Enjoy! https://skyandtelescope.org/homeschool-resources/?fbclid=IwAR3gquWhmrMMRdd9WyX6e-j8orDQi_teXUBu1fqv1zJs00-vBt_1dRjhGHg
Star Gazing Resourses
Turn Left at Orion by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis - http://www.cambridge.org/turnleft
Sky & Telescope - interactive star chart
Heavens Above - Satellite predictions and other astronomical data customized for your location.
Stellarium - Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
AAVSO - The mission of the AAVSO is to enable anyone, anywhere to participate in scientific discoverythrough variable star astronomy.
International Dark Sky Association - The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is the recognizedauthority on light pollution and is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide.
Skymaps - digital sky maps (star charts) for publication, education and other commercial applications.