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IAU Dark Skies Kits Available for Education & Outreach

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:14

IAU: 100 Years Under One Sky

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is dedicated to raising public awareness for the need to preserve dark skies. In celebration of the IAU's 100th birthday, its Global Project "Dark Skies for All" is making a limited number of dark skies kits available to educators, scientists, outreach professionals, and others who would like to use the kit to educate students and/or the general public.

Based on the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit developed by the US National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the Turn on the Night kit will be released by Laser Classroom in mid-to-late March 2019. If you are interested in receiving a kit for free or at cost, please fill out application form by 1 March.

More information on the kit:

  • Turn on the Night, a light-and-the-environment STEM kit, takes a positive, problem-solving approach to managing several issues and concerns raised by the dramatic increase in industrial lighting. Four hands-on STEM activities invite students in grades 7-12 to plan, design, and create strategies for city lighting that balance the competing concerns of humans and the environment. Using the problem-solving process, students learn about issues raised by human created lighting: glare, sky glow, light trespass, and excess energy consumption.
  • Students role-play as members of a city's lighting task force as they tackle issues ranging from preserving dark skies to reducing light pollution's impact on energy consumption while maintaining human comfort and safety. Working collaboratively in groups of four to six, students define problems, collect and analyze data, create and test solutions, and write up a report of recommendations for reducing the negative impact of lighting while retaining its intended function.
  • Each kit includes durable, reusable equipment for up to 30 students to complete all four modules, a full-color step-by step curriculum guide, student worksheets, and background information.

Apply for a Turn on the Night Kit

For inquiries, please contact

Constance E. Walker
NOAO, AAS LPRISD Committee Member, Astronomical Society of the Pacific BOD
AAS Controlled Subject Tags: