Friday, July 24, 2009

UK Astronomy Badge

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A few weeks back I received my second exchange in the The Great Astronomers Badge Swap.

The Astronomer's Badge from the 12th Winchester Cubs in the UK (Winchester District).

This is a great example of how to make earning a badge fun and shows a creative way to overcome the challenges of the UK's famously cloudy skies. We face similar challenges here in Toronto during the fall and winter.

The requirements for this badge are:
  1. Make a model or draw a simple diagram of the solar system.
  2. Explain the difference between a planet and a star.
  3. Identify three constellations.
  4. Find out about and present some information on the two of the following: Planets, Comets, the Northern Lights, The Sun, Eclipses,Meteorites, Black holes, The Moon, Light years, Space exploration or any other space related subject.
  5. Observe the moon, if possible using binoculars or a telescope. Describe some of its features.
  6. Know how to locate and identify the Pole star or Southern Star. Know how explorers used it to navigate and plot courses.
Their approach:
  1. They played a simple relay game where the cubs had to put the planets in the correct order from the sun. Then we made 3D models of the planets to hang up in their scout hut. They discussed how far apart to hang them to maintain scale. They thought Jupiter would have ended up about 100km away from the hut!
  2. Each of the cubs explained the difference between stars and planets and gave an example. It was interesting to see how many different correct answers they could give!
  3. With lots of cloudy nights their opportunities to actually observe the night sky were limited. They ended up constructing representations of constellations using candles and tin cans with holes. The Cubs were challenged to identify the constellations shown. They talked about some of the meanings behind the names for constellations.
  4. Each cub came up with different information about objects in space. They also played a true/false game with some facts.
  5. The Cubs did this at home. Drawing a picture or writing about what they saw. One even wrote a rather good poem!
  6. The Cubs practised finding north. Everyone drew a diagram at home to illustrate it. They also visited a local hands-on science centre, and saw some of the shows in the planetarium which the everyone really enjoyed.Badges were presented the day of the outing.
Thanks to Scouter Emma (Riki-Tiki-Tava)!

Please click on the BadgeSwap label below to see other related badges and entries.

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