Astronomy & Physics Activities

1: Solar System Bracelet
Students will discuss the order of the planets in our Solar System and some features of each. Then they will make a bracelet using beads to represent the planets of the Solar System including the Sun, asteroids, and dwarf planets, to help them remember the order. Materials and details will vary depending on the age of the students. (Grades: PreK-8)

2: Solar System Scale Model
This model scales down the Solar System to show the distances of the planets from the Sun. Students will use measurement to determine the distances and gain understanding of the true distances of planets with respect to one another. (Grades: 3-12)

3: The Sun’s Energy
Every living being can trace its ultimate energy to the Sun. Visible light is only one type of solar energy. We will discuss visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light. Students will also explore the sun’s ultraviolet light using UV beads, and make something to take home. This is followed by viewing the sun through a solar telescope and using special solar glasses. Lesson will be adjusted according to age of students. Solar viewing is weather contingent. (Grades: PreK-12)

4: Electromagnetism
Students will study the correlation between magnetism and electricity and build their own simple electromagnetic motors. (Grades: 5-12)

5: Constellations and Star Wheels
Students will construct one of the following paper objects to help them locate the constellations in the sky:

  • Star Wheel/Planisphere: this will help them to determine which constellations are in the sky on any date and time (Grades: 4-12)
  • “Fortune” Teller: use a star chart of the current month’s sky to construct a typical “fortune teller.” (Grades: 3-8)
  • Star Clock: find out how to tell the time using the Big and Little Dipper. (Grades: 2-8)

6: Solar Eclipses
On August 21, 2017 there will be a rare total solar eclipse visible on a path through the center of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. In Central Texas we will see only a partial eclipse, but this is still an uncommon event. Using a variety of manipulatives students will learn all about solar eclipses and how to safely view them, in preparation for the August eclipse. (Grades 2-12)

Students take home any models they make.

Paleontology & Historical Geology Activities

1: Fossil Footprints
Students will learn about how trace fossils, such as footprints, can help us to learn more about ancient creatures and their behavior. They will also create their own “fossil footprint” to take home. (Grades 2-8)

2: Layers in the rocks
**Description coming soon

3: Radioactive Dating
**Description coming soon

Egyptology & Archaeology Activities

1: Mummification
Students will learn about the science of preserving soft tissues through mummification. Younger students will experiment with apple mummification. Older students will also use a doll to study the process the Egyptians went through to mummify corpses. Lesson will be modified depending on age and abilities of students. (Grades 1-12)

2: Artifacts: A Key to History
**Description coming soon

3: Making Papyrus Paper and Writing Hieroglyphics
Students will learn how Egyptians used the papyrus plant to make paper, and try out making their own “papyrus” paper. They will also write their name and/or a story in Egyptian hieroglyphics. (Grades 3-8)