Have you and your kids discovered geoboards yet? Or are you searching for kid’s astronomy projects to engage your young stargazer? Well we‘ve got a double whammy here for you today, DIY Constellation Geoboards. Make this simple constellation geoboard for a great kids’ astronomy project and inspire your budding astronomer!
As a child I was an astronomy nut. I had a subscription to the kid’s astronomy magazine, Odyssey, and I remember quite a few nights spent looking at the stars with my Dad. In Los Angeles that meant looking at about 5 stars with all the light pollution, however when our family would escape the city for the weekend, my Dad and I would bring the telescope and start looking at the sky
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Kids’ Astronomy Project: Constellation Geoboards
A note on the template: This template is a simplified star chart that in no way claims to be a completely accurate representation of the night sky! It was created for this fun project only.
- Geoboard Template
- (2) 7” Round Cork Trivets ( I bought mine at IKEA)
- Ball Head Straight Pins
- Mod Podge Matte Finish
- Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun
- Cosmetic Wedges
- Small Rubber Bands
- Step One Print out the Geoboard Template. Depending on the age of your child choose either Template Page 1 or Page 2. I suggest Template 1 for older children and Template 2 for younger kids; it is enlarged and easier for kids who are still developing their fine motor skills.
- Step Two Cut the selected template out.
- Step Three Using a cosmetic wedge cover the surface of one trivet with Mod Podge and glue down your template to the cork.
- Step Four Dab the edges and top the template with more Mod Podge to adhere it to the trivet. Be careful to dab it only! Brushing the glue across the top of the template may cause the black ink to bleed slightly when it is moistened.
- Step Five Let dry.
- Step Six Take a second trivet and apply hot glue to one surface. Glue it to the bottom of your geoboard. Adding the second layer of cork will allow you to really secure the pins in place.
You’re done! Here’s the invitation to play:
Allow your child to start placing pins in each of the star points. We used pins with different sized heads to mimic bright and dim stars. Once there are enough pins in place, start adding rubber bands to form the outlines of the constellations! The rubber bands can be woven between the pins to form lines.
Alternatively, let your child create their own constellations! My son had no interest in following the constellation outlines but wanted to make his own shapes using the rubber bands. [clickToTweet tweet=”I wonder what constellations would look like if kids were in charge of creating them…” quote=”I wonder what constellations would look like if kids were in charge of creating them…”]Here’s my son’s handiwork along with a shot of what he decided would be a good idea for all our pins….yes they are now stuck like a giant porcupine to a heavy duty magnet. Ouch!
Sally Ride. This project definitely made Sally Ride come to mind. What young girl (and boy) from the 1980’s wasn’t inspired by Ms. Ride? I remember dreaming that I would be in her space shoes someday. Did you know that she got her first job at NASA by answering a university newspaper ad? And her answers to some of the sexist questions reporters asked her prior to her first flight into space are not to be missed: A Ride in Space Article. She truly broke barriers for women in the space industry and remains an icon of mine. This is a great read on how to encourage more young women to follow their passion for science: Girls & Science on Classic Play
Time to inspire the next Sally Ride!
Kids’ astronomy projects are a wonderful way to engage the next generation of scientists who will be exploring space. Constellation Geoboards are a hands-on way to explore the constellations of the night sky and even a chance to invent a constellation of your own.
More Science Projects for Kids:
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