Hands-On Aurora Activities
Explore the aurora with these hands-on activities!
UAF Photo by Todd Paris, 2015.
The northern lights are awe-inspiring! Aurora explorations can be a stepping stone
for curiosity and student excitement about heliophysics: the study of the Sun/Earth system and the effects of the Sun on the Earth.
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Aurora Trivia Cards: Discover fun facts about the aurora with these printable cards.
- Aurora Bracelet: Explore how gases in the atmosphere cause the different colors of the northern lights, and make a colorful bracelet to remind you of the aurora colors.
- Watercolor Aurora Sky: Create a picture of the northern lights and explore aurora mysteries.
- Northern Lights Storybook: Learn about the aurora by reading stories from Iñupiat elders, and write your own northern lights stories. Download the story sheets here. Listen and watch Iñupiaq elders tell these stories at the Cultural Connections website.
- Aurora Storytelling (Courtesy of Cultural Connections): Listen and watch elders tell stories about the northern lights. Include worksheets and discussion prompts to help students reflect on what they have learned. Videos are available at the Cultural Connections website.
- Explore Magnets: Explore how magnets work, and discover how magnetism helps create the aurora.
- Aurora Ovals (Courtesy of Cultural Connections): Discover why the aurora is most visible near the North and South Poles. Learn more about aurora ovals!
- What Causes Some Aurora To Appear In Distinct Lines? (Courtesy of Science Friday): Examine aurora, energy levels, and some wave activity to create a model that explains why there are different types of aurora. For grades 9-12.
- Pack a Northern Lights Backpack: Imagine you are going outside to watch the northern lights. Pack a backpack to take with you.
- Paint the Aurora with Ice Cubes: For younger children, explore the colors of the aurora with a sensory activity.
Aurora Chalk Art activity. UAMN photo by Kristin Donaldson.
This project was funded under NASA cooperative agreement NNX16AL65A and cooperative agreement number NNH15ZDA004C. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.