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Project ASTRO Partner Resources

Here are some useful resources to make teaching astronomy in the classroom that much easier. If you have any questions or suggestions, please write to: bayareaastro {at}

1. California Science Standards and The Universe at Your Fingertips (Excel document)

Need to teach a particular concept? Just look up that standard and section and you will be directed to the activities that cover it. This excel spreadsheet has tabs for 3rd – 8th grades, just click on yours at the bottom.

2. Pocket Solar System (pdf file)

Use this quick demo to show relative distances of objects in our Solar System. All you need is a bit of paper (cash register) tape and a pen. (Updated Feb. 2007)

3. Moon Phases Video (mpeg file)

Here is a wonderful little compilation of moon images to use with Moon balls or any of the Moon phase activities. If you put the video on “loop” you can watch the phases change over and over. If you want to show a more realistic version of a lunation, including effects of libration and its elliptical orbit, the Astronomy Picture of the Day has a wonderful short clip online here.

4. Mercury Transit Orbits (pdf file)   (Word document)

Use these simple worksheets to explain why we do not see a transit of Mercury many times every year.

5. Planet Pictures

Venus, Feb 4, 2006
Venus, Feb 17, 2006
Venus, Mar 19, 2006
Venus, Apr 11, 2006

Saturn, Mar 20, 2006
Saturn, Jan 7, 2007

Jupiter, Mar 21, 2006

Mars, Nov 6, 2006

6. Virtual Venus (pdf file)

7. Observing Shooting Stars (pdf file)  (Word document)
By Andrew Fraknoi

8. Link to Northern California planetaria and observatories:

9. StarLab, Chabot rents one here:

10. Powers of 10 streaming video:

And The Simpsons do it cartoon style:

11. NASA Sun and Seasons Video, with ancient cultures (good for use with Sun Plungers activity!):

12. Great places to find physical resources
Scrap (SF):
RAFT (Sac):
The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (Oakland):

13. Survey from Private Universe DVD: