Space & Astronomy Hands-on STEM Activities

If you're looking for another source of hands-on STEM activities, try Science Snacks from Exploratorium, a website full of activities that use inexpensive and readily-available materials. Each "Snack" includes a materials list, step-by-step directions, and an explanation of the science at work in the activity; some also include video demos.

Because the 2019 Summer Library Program theme is space, here's a sample of activities they provide on the topics of astronomy, space sciences and exploration, and planetary science that you could try at your library this summer:

  • Blue Sky: discover why the sky is blue and the sunset is red
  • CD Spectroscope: turn an old CD into a tool to reveal the wavelengths of light that mix together to create the colors you see
  • Earth and Moon: create a scale model of the earth-moon system using spheres of different sizes
  • Glue Stick Sunset: model the scattering of light by the atmosphere, which makes the sky appear blue and our sunsets red
  • Handy Measuring Tool: use just your hand and a ratio to estimate sizes or distance
  • Height Sight: build an inclinometer to measure the height of a distant object, like a flying paper rocket or the North Star
  • Self-Centered Globe: make the pattern of sunlight and shadow on an Earth globe match the pattern of day and night on our planet
  • Size and Distance: trick your brain into thinking that two similar objects of different sizes are really the same size, by removing clues to the actual size and distance of an object
  • Tide-O-Matic: build a simple model to explore the influence of the sun and moon on our tides

Hat tip: Three Good Places to Find Hands-on STEM Activities
Image source: Pixabay