Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society
Night Sky Network resources Print E-mail

As members of the Night Sky Network, NASA has provided
a number of educational kits that are great for educational
outreach.  Most work best at a table, such as during astronomy
days in Raleigh or our events at the park in Durham.  Kits are
stored by Tony Rice and can be obtained from him. They are
available to any club member for educational use.  

All kits include a manual describing the activity, a script you
can use, and often include videos on CD ROM demonstrating
the activity.  Some kits have been used numerous times and
are completely assembled, other have been partially assembled
as activities have been selected in the past to meet the
requirements of each educational event.  Any consumables
you might need to pickup before making use of the kits are
noted as well.

Space Rocks

  • includes several meteorite samples including stoney and iron and
    some samples that look like meteorites but are not.
  • manual
  • demo video
  • large vinyl banner (scaled to 1 meter Earth) showing both the near
    and far sides of the moon.
  • consumables: a small amount of flour and cocoa powder (just one
    packet of instant cocoa is usually enough for a classroom's worth
    of experimentation).

Shadows and Silhouettes

Hands-on activities on Moon phases, lunar and solar eclipses, transits, and
Venus phases. Features NASA's Kepler Mission and provides activities to explore
searching for planets orbiting in the habitable zone around other stars.

Glass and Mirrors

Also included in the ToolKit you'll find the 400 Years of the Telescope DVD.
This documentary on the history of telescopes premiered on PBS stations
nationwide on April 10, 2009. There is also a planetarium program, Two Small
Pieces of Glass, being presented in over 750 planetariums worldwide. Find
out more information about these by following the links below.

Exploring the Solar System

explores the scale of our solar system

  • demo video
  • banner showing the sun in scale with the Earth

Life in the Universe


The SUPERNOVA! ToolKit tells the story of the lives of stars, cosmic radiation,
and how Earth is protected from that radiation. Using marshmallows and
macaroni, explain nuclear fusion and the radiation generated from a supernova
explosion. Use balls in an activity that illustrates what happens when a star
explodes. Find the stars in the night sky likely to go supernova. Discover the
importance of supernovae in the universe

Additionally Tony has the Night Sky Network banner.  It is a vinyl banner with
grommet holes and looks something like this: