We went on a family (four families and Jenny) road trip to Fort Davis Texas last week. It was a fabulous getaway! Wwe visited the revived art town of Marfa (home of Donald Judd) and attended a Star Party at the nearby McDonald Observatory . If you ever are near the Observatory, check it out! We listened to an introductory talk in an outdoor arena, then everyone got to look through these amazing huge telescopes. Everyone but R and I. It was kinda late and R fell asleep, so I carried him inside to the gift shop where we waited for the rest of our group. That’s where I found There’s No Place Like Space! by Tish Rabe from The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library and Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Space Those two books inspired me with the idea for my art class to make sun prints using “a Yellow Dwarf star”. (I am just showing off with my star knowledge. That means the sun.)
If you want to make cool art while learning about the constellations, you will need:
- cotton swabs
- a tray, surface, or cardboard for bottom
- Sun Print Paper
- an image of the constellations
- acrylic sheet that comes with the sun print set to weigh down
- the sun
- water to rinse your exposed sun print paper
What to do:
- Read a cool book about constellations. Like –There’s No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System
- Gather Supplies
- Pull up a constellation you want to copy on your phone or use a printout or a book.
- Cut the cotton swabs to the right size to replicate the constellation. (Math!)
- Do a mockup, so you are ready before you get the photo paper out.
- Get out a piece of sun print paper and place it on your tray or base.
- Arrange your constellation design.
- Cover/ secure with the acrylic sheet.
- Expose your creation to the sun for 1-5 minutes, till the sun paper lightens.
- Rinse the paper with water to stop exposure. (Do this for about one minute.)
- You may need to flatten the print with a book once it’s completely dry.
The swabs of the cotton swabs resemble the stars and the “bones” resemble the lines that connect the dots.
In the end you use math skills to learn about the formation of star patterns (constellations) while creating beautiful art.
Want to know some fun facts that we found in Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Space?
- What are stars made of? Incredibly hot, exploding gases that shine as they burn.
- Why do stars twinkle? They don’t. They only look twinkly because their light wobbles as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere.
- Why can’t I see stars in the daytime? You can see one…the sun! Because the sun’s light is much brighter than light from other stars. In the daytime, sunlight scatters in the Earth’s atmosphere. It makes the sky look blue and blocks out the stars.
- How many stars are there? Billions and billions. More than you could ever count.
This post is part of the 28 Days of STEAM hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain.
We adore the Cat in the Hat Learning Library series for science activities! What a fun idea — making daylight constellations 🙂