Space Science for Kids: Constellations

Kids in grades K-5 are invited to join us for our January, 2022 Space Science for Kids event, to learn about constellations. Register HERE and join us via Zoom on Tuesday, January 4, at 4pm.

Have you ever spent time looking up at the night sky and ‘connecting the dots’ of the stars? Humans have done this for thousands of years, creating stories and tracking the stars as they moved through the nights, years, and seasons. We’ll learn why constellations were important to humans and learn about a few of the most common ones.

For example, the constellation Ursa Major (or the Great Bear) has stories from many cultures dating back centuries or thousands of years. In some stories, the constellation is a bear, in others, a wagon, skunk, or camel.

Ursa Major contains an ‘asterism’ – a star pattern WITHIN a constellation, called the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is in the night sky all year long in the northern hemisphere, and it provides a way to find which direction is north. The Big Dipper was used by escaped enslaved people to find freedom in the northern United States during the last century.

Learn more about constellations using these resources, available using your Spokane Public Library card:

Book: Find the Constellations. This classic is well worth your time! Also available as an eBook through hoopla.

Book: Bright Sky, Starry City

Book: Star Climbing

Video: Drawings in the Sky | Kanopy – an episode of the educational cartoon series, Earth to Luna. For younger children.

For older children interested in astronomy, there are several Great Courses episodes dealing with constellations and their stories available in Kanopy.

-Cathy, STEM Librarian