Educational Resources for Teachers
The TAAA provides educational experiences for people of all ages. Our mission is to share the joy and excitement of
astronomy through observing, education, and fun. We do this through the following programs available to classroom teachers and not-for-profit
Community Star Parties
Our members volunteer
their time and telescopes for star parties throughout the Tucson area. Each year, we reach approximately 10,000 people through our Community Star Party Program. These star parties are typically held for school groups
but any not-for-profit organization may request an star party. There is no charge for this service, but donations are always appreciated.
We need at least 6 weeks notice. Events are scheduled on a first come basis.
Due to the high demand, we must restrict this community service to grades 3 (or age 8) and up. Since we depend on volunteers for this program, we can only accommodate a limited number of events per month, so make your
request early. A year's notice is not uncommon. Learn more about requesting a star party
through our School Star Party Schedule Coordinator.
Email: school-star-party [at] tucsonastronomy.org
Star Party Request Form and Instructions [DOC]
Night Sky Network Outreach Toolkits
The TAAA is a charter member of NASA's
Night Sky Network which supports amateur astronomy cliubs with their outreach programs. Under contract with NASA, the
Astronomical Society of the Pacific has developed a
series of Night Sky Network Toolkits that amateur astronomers can use at star parties. Kits consist
of several hands-on activities centered on a particular theme. Most kits are best suited for small groups. The
majority of the projects are meant for grades 4 and up through adults.
There is no cost for these activites, but donations to cover material expenses are greatly appreciated.
To request a toolkit at your star party, or another event, complete the event request form. In the description section, please state that you are requesting
a NSN toolkit and provide the toolkit name if you have chosen one. To learn more
about the Night Sky Network toolkits, contact:
Night Sky Network Toolkits
Space Rocks: Meteors, Meteorites, Asteroids, & Impact Craters
Planet Quest: Explains planet detection techniques
Our Galaxy, Our Universe: Scale model of the Milky Way
galaxy and the Universe
Black Hole Survival Kit: Explains gravity and black holes
Telescopes – Eyes on the Universe: Explains basic principles
of optics, the human eye, and observing
Shadows and Silhouettes: Lunar phases, eclipses, and
Exploring the Solar System: Scale model of solar system and NASA
exploration of planets
Mirrors and Glass – An inside look at telescopes: How telescopes work
Dark Skies Education Kit: Light pollution principles
Supernova! Life cycle of massive stars, comparison to life cycle of
Solar Scope (DAYTIME ONLY): Provides a white light image of the sun suitable for
small group viewing.
Materials For Classroom Use
The TAAA has a 12" diameter Moon Globe available to K-12 teachers for use in their classroom while teaching about the moon.
To borrow the globe, contact smsig[at]tucsonastronomy.org. A deposit is required which will be returned upon return of the
globe in original condition.
Additional School Projects and Resources
Night Sky Network
Nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy clubs bringing the
science, technology and inspiration of NASA's missions to the
Source for hands-on activity guides, games and projects. These are
simple, NASA-mission-related, structured activities for group
settings or for kids and parents to do independently.
Learning Center for Young Astronomers
See "In the Classroom" link for resources and projects.
NASA Imagine the Universe
Site provides lesson plans and resources for students age 14 and
up, and for anyone interested in learning about our universe.
Includes lesson plans related to algebra II, high school physics
and chemistry, as well as middle school mathematics in "The
Teacher's Corner." Also see,
Outstanding Young Astronomer Award
Would you like to recognize the outstanding achievements of a high
school student in the United States? The Astronomical League offers
annual awards to exceptional young
Are you a Project Astro School?
This program partners astronomers and teachers for learning.
Benefits include free instructional
materials for teachers, in addition to one-on-one support from a
Visit the Astro Tucson website
for additional information and resources.
Project Astro is an educational outreach program of the
National Optical Astronomy