Educational Resources and Activities for event Organisers
A compilation of lunar educational resources and activities related to the moon has been compiled for this special IAU100 global event that can be availed of for event organisers:
IAU AstroEDU is a platform for peer-reviewed, open-access astronomy education activities. Here you can search for education resources and activities for specific astronomy topics or browse one of the 13 activities collections. IAU astroEDU activities are available for all ages and levels. There is also a collection of tactile astronomy activities, that use cheap or household items to create a tactile hands-on experience for visually impaired students and their non-visually impaired peers.
Lunar Day : Through a fun-learning activity, understand why moon always keeps the same face towards Earth.
Lunar Landscape : Create craters and explore the lunar landscape with this hands-on activity.
Deadly Moons : Through art and science, children learn about moons of our solar system.
Meet Our Neighbours - Moon : Explore the tactile version of our moon with household materials.
Children’s Planetary Maps - The Moon : An up close look at our own satellite
Blue Marble in Empty Space : Students are taken on a virtual journey to outer space to experience that we live on a tiny planet that floats in a vast and empty space.
Sun, Earth and Moon Model: Build an Earth-Moon-Sun mobile to learn about how they orbit.
Impact Craters: A literal Earth-Shattering experiment
Country Movers: Visualising spatial scales in planetary and Earth sciences. Move your whole country to another planet or the moon.
NASA Education Resources
Student Lunar Activities
Diameter of the Moon: This activity requires that students calculate the diameter of the moon by comparing it to a two-centimeter cardboard disc.
Distance to the Moon: In this activity, students calculate the distance between scale models of Earth and the moon.
Earth’s Moon Lithograph: (Higher Education) The front of this lithograph features images of Earth's moon from the Apollo and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter missions. The back of the lithograph has general information, significant dates and interesting facts about the moon.
Exploring the Moon Educators Guide: (Grades 4-12): The activities in this guide promote problem solving, communication skills and teamwork. Earth and space science subjects include lunar geology and regolith, distance to the moon, Apollo landing sites and life support systems.
Lunar Biosphere: (Grades 4-12): This activity challenges students to create a working model of a lunar biosphere that is a balanced, self-enclosed living system able to run efficiently over a long period of time.
Lunar Land and Use (Grades 4-12): In this activity, teams of students will present proposals for settlements on the moon in a competition for approval from a student-staffed Lunar Council. This activity commonly runs eight class days.
Lunar Surface (Grades 4-12): In this activity students will use modeling clay or plaster of Paris to construct model surfaces to match what they see on maps and photographs of the moon. They "flag" Apollo landing sites and consider the collection site of each Lunar Disk sample.
Lunar Landing Sites (Grades 4-12): Using their knowledge of the lunar surface, students are challenged to plan a mission to the moon. In this activity, teams of students design a spacecraft, choose a suitable lunar landing site and present their ideas before the class. Final presentations should include speeches and visual aids such as maps, diagrams and three-dimensional models.
Lunar Rover: (Grades 8-12) Exploring Space Through Math applies geometric and algebraic principles to optimize the lunar rover's path on a mission. Students apply the distance formula and the Pythagorean theorem to determine the minimal path and minimal time for the lunar rover to perform tasks on the surface of the moon.
Leaving the Moon (Video): This NASA video segment shows the Eagle lunar module ascending from the moon's surface and preparing to dock with the Columbia command module during the Apollo 11 mission. Viewers watch the Eagle leave the moon, move into orbit with Columbia, and position itself for docking. The video clip includes the three astronauts' personal reflections about the experience. Length: 3:15
July 16, 1969: Apollo 11 Lifts Off (Video): This NASA video segment describes the immense preparation and effort expended to make the dream of landing on the moon a reality. Viewers learn that thousands of people were involved and that astronauts Collins, Aldrin and Armstrong went through extensive training for the mission. The clip includes footage of the astronauts entering the rocket and of the launch. Length: 3:13
Lunar Module in Space (Video): This NASA video segment describes what occurred during the Apollo 11 mission once the Saturn V rocket reached space. Viewers can watch as the command module docks with the lunar module. Learn about the tasks the astronauts completed on their three-day trip to the moon. Some of the tasks mentioned are studying charts, making observations, collecting data and taking photographs. Length: 2:35
Destination - The Moon (Video): This NASA video segment shows the process of landing the Apollo 11 lunar module on the surface of the moon. Viewers watch as the lunar module separates from the command module, extends and locks its landing pads, and descends to the moon's surface. The video explains that the command module and lunar module are called Columbia and Eagle, respectively, after separation. The clip includes radio transmissions between the astronauts and mission control. Length: 4:42
Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin Arrive on the Moon (Video): This NASA video segment shows Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, as well as the scientific work that Armstrong and Aldrin performed while on the moon's surface. Viewers watch as the astronauts collect samples of moon rocks and dust, trap solar particles for further experimentation, and set up a seismometer to record moon movements. The video shows photographs of the American flag, astronaut footprints, and solar panels left on the moon by the astronauts. Radio transmissions between astronauts and Mission Control support the presentation. Length: 6:40
Transcript: 27 languages
Description: Can folding a piece of paper 45 times get you to the moon? By seeing what happens when folding just one piece of paper we see the unbelievable potential of exponential growth. This lesson will leave you wanting to grab a piece of paper to see how many times you can fold it! [Lesson by Adrian Paenza, directed by TED-Ed, narrated by Adrian Paenza].
Transcript: 15 languages
Description: Every star, black hole, human being, smartphone and atom are all constantly pulling on each other due to one force: gravity. So why don't we feel pulled in billions of different directions? And is there anywhere in the universe where we'd be free of its pull? Rene Laufer details the inescapability of gravity. [Directed by TED-Ed, narrated by Addison Anderson].
Transcript: 28 languages
Description: Is there life beyond Earth? Join NASA's director of planetary science James Green for a survey of the places in our solar system that are most likely to harbor alien life.
Transcription: 20 languages
Description: How will we live elsewhere in the galaxy? On Earth, natural resources for creating structures are abundant, but sending these materials up with us to the Moon or Mars is clunky and cost-prohibitive. Enter architect Xavier De Kestelier, who has a radical plan to use robots and space dust to 3D print our interplanetary homes. Learn more about the emerging field of space architecture with this fascinating talk about the (potentially) not-too-distant future.
NASA’s Look at 50 Years of Apollo - Season 1 (3 episodes) Length: 3-6 minutes
A look at the 50th anniversary of Apollo that landed humans on the Moon
Crash Course Astronomy - The Moon Length: 9:50
Join Phil for a tour of our capital-M Moon, from surface features, inside to the core, and back in time to theories about its formation.
National Geographic - Star Talk: Going to the Moon… And Discovering Earth
A single photo taken from the moon alters human perceptions about the Earth and changes history.
Great Big Story: Inside NASA’s Last Moon Mission Length: 20:18
On December 7, 1972, NASA launched Apollo 17, a lunar mission crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt. It would be the last time humans traveled beyond low Earth orbit, the last time man landed on another celestial body, and the last time man went to the moon. The Last Steps uses rare, heart-pounding footage and audio to retrace the record-setting mission. A film by Todd Douglas Miller.
NASA - Tour of the Moon Length: 4:39
Although the moon has remained largely unchanged during human history, our understanding of it and how it has evolved over time has evolved dramatically. Thanks to new measurements, we have new and unprecedented views of its surface, along with new insight into how it and other rocky planets in our solar system came to look the way they do. See some of the sights and learn more about the moon here!
ScienceCasts - Did Earth Ever Have Two Moons? Length: 2:59
Did our planet once have two moons? Some researchers say so. Moreover, the missing satellite might still be up there--splattered across the far side of the Moon. NASA's GRAIL mission could help confirm or refute the "two moon" hypothesis.
STEM in 30: Moon Rocks Length: 29:03
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s STEM in 30 series of live, fast-paced, 30-minute webcasts are designed to increase interest and engagement in STEM for students. This episode explores Moon rocks and what they can tell us not only about the Moon, but also about our own planet.
Other Web Resources and Publications
The Moon is our closest neighbour and a natural target for setting up a research base as we prepare to go deeper into the Solar System. Download this media kit to learn more about the Moon and our journey back to the lunar surface. Explore the Moon through the series of infographics.
European Space Agency’s Teach With the Moon
Teach with the Moon is a new webpage that collects a series of inspirational educational materials that can be used in the classroom to run STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curricular activities and trigger students’ interest in space topics. These resources link curricular topics to the exploration of the Moon. On this webpage you can find links to relevant classroom activities, infographics, images, videos and animations focused on the Moon and further information about ESA missions.
An interactive web documentary that allows users to find answers to the main questions of why, how and when explore the Moon in the words of European scientists who are working on lunar science right now.
NASA Science Earth’s Moon
NASA’s website devotes to the information, observation, resources, galleries and news for the moon.
This animation shows the geocentric phase, libration, position angle of the axis, and apparent diameter of the Moon throughout the year 2019, at hourly intervals. The imagery is based on actual data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Both annotated and unannotated versions are available for download on this page. (via NASA)
Have you ever wondered when the next full Moon will be? How about the first quarter moon? Now you can have all the dates and times for all the Moon phases for the year at your fingertips by building your own Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator!
Jasper Space Dog Book
Written to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landings in July 2019 and to tie in with the National Curriculum, Jasper: Space Dog is the first in a series of hilarious stories aimed at emerging independent readers. Jasper Space dog, is published on April 4th 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and Neil Armstrong’s historic walk.
Scientific History of the Moon's Formation
Explore Moon Landing 50's text writeup of the scientific history of the moon's formation. repared by Gonzalo Tancredi, President of the Division F Planetary Systems and Astrobiology - International Astronomical Union, and collaborating members of the SC
Films, Television and Documentaries
A 1995 American space docudrama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The film depicts the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission and is an adaptation of the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.
A 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder that is loosely based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about black female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race.
A 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. Based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, the film stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, alongside Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, and Lukas Haas, and follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969.
In the Shadow of the Moon
A 2007 British documentary film about the United States' manned missions to the Moon.
A 2000 Australian film that tells a somewhat fictionalised story of the Parkes Observatory's role in relaying live television of man's first steps on the Moon in 1969.
Apollo 11 (1996)
A television docudrama film which aired on November 17, 1996 on The Family Channel.
Apollo 11 (2019)
A 2019 documentary film directed by Todd Douglas Miller. It focuses on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the first spaceflight to land people on the moon. The film consists solely of archival footage shot in film that was previously unreleased to the public.
For All Mankind
A 1989 documentary film drawn from original footage of NASA's Apollo program, directed by Al Reinert. The film concentrates on the beauty of the Earth as seen from space with the experiences of Apollo crew members and mission control staff played over original mission footage.
Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo
A 2017 documentary directed by David Fairhead that combines archive footage with present-day interviews to depict the contribution of Apollo’s mission control.
From Earth to the Moon
a 12-part 1998 HBO television miniseries co-produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tom Hanks, and Michael Bostick, telling the story of the landmark Apollo program during the 1960s and early 1970s in docudrama format. Largely based on Andrew Chaikin's book, A Man on the Moon, the series is known for its accurate telling of the story of Apollo.