Activity | Map the moon’s path
With this month-long project you’ll excite curious minds about what happens in the night sky…
Time needed: 15-20 minutes (per session)
What to do
1. Firstly, check where the moon is in your region and when it rises above and falls below the horizon. Ensure it will be visible above the horizon over the next few weeks. This moon calculator will help.
2. At the next meeting tell your Scouts to go outside at a set time with a piece of A4 paper, a pen and something to rest on. Tell them to find a spot where they can easily see the moon.
3. They then need to sketch the horizon from that position, sketching in the position and shape of the moon. Before they go back inside they need to note their position and the time and write the date by their image of the moon. The moon on a horizontal piece of A4 should be about the size of a 5p piece. Give them all a coin to draw around.
4. A week later they need to go back outside at the same time and sketch the shape and position of the moon again.
5. Continue this every week for a month and then compare your horizons.
This activity could help your Scouts earn their Astronomer Activity Badge and Space Activity Badge.
Go on a night walk and try to find north using the direction of the two stars that form the far edge of The Plough.
Go here for general advice on astronomy.
Also, get your Scouts to keep their eyes on the skies when taking part in night adventures to see if they can spot the International Space Station. There are thousands of sighting opportunities worldwide and throughout the year – head to the website, select your location and find out when you and your Scouts can catch a glimpse.
You can download this activity page to print off at scouts.org.uk/magazine.