Pedro Russo

Outreach Scientist

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Universe in a Box

Universe in a Box Logo

 ‘Universe in a Box’ is an educational kit to assist teachers and educators in bringing astronomy and space sciences to 4–10 year old children around the world. Universe in a Box was developed to meet a demand for practical, interactive, and fun resources to bring astronomy to the classroom. It provides teachers and educators with over 40 practical activities as well as the materials and models required to do them.

Educational Goals

Universe in a Box was designed with the following educational goals in mind:

  • Support elementary school curriculum with a didactic tool for teachers to help them overcome the hurdle of initial preparation by choosing appropriate focus areas and providing appropriate learning objectives and materials.
  • Encourage inquiry-based learning among children, involving observing, discussing, drawing conclusions and presenting.
  • Link astronomical topics with other subjects such as mathematics, art, and philosophy to support interdisciplinary learning and present a more holistic view of our universe.
  • Make children aware that we are all inhabitants of a small fragile planet: our Earth. To help encourage the desire to protect the environment and to respect other cultures.

What's in the Box?

Universe in a Box has a modular design and comes with five modules: Our Fascinating Moon, The Earth — Our Home Planet, The Sun — Our Home Star, Our Solar System, and The World of Constellations. 

The box contains a comprehensive activity book describing 40 activities for children aged 4 to 10. The activity book includes relevant background information, how-to steps, guidance on further experimentation, and craft templates for use in the classroom. The box contains all the materials and models required to do the activities. Exceptions are commonly available materials such as clay, scissors or colour pencils.

If you would like to try some of the Universe in a Box activities yourself, the complete activity book is available free online here.

Who Can Use Universe in a Box?

Either individual activities or entire modules can be used in a classroom or a playroom, with an ideal instructor to student ratio of 1:20. The box has been designed to be used by any type of instructor, including but not limited to:

  • Schools / Teachers
  • Playgroups and Activity Centers
  • Science Centres, Planetaria, Museums
  • Amateur Astronomer Associations
  • Outreach Programmes
  • Independent Educators

Educators are also encouraged to customize the box with additional activities and materials of their own. The activity book is in loose-leaf folder format so that teachers can easily add additional activities to it.

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