I have not yet fully tried these two activities specially designed for art students to not just make them aware of the silent beauty of the stars but also get them started in simple observational astronomy and sky gazzing.
First Activity we will be making some simple figures of constellations or even beter making horzontal sky maps.
- Some good quality dark color T- Shirts (For first timers, I'll sugest use some thrown away t-shirts).
- Good quality washable colors to paint.
- Constellation figures or horizon view sky map of perticular direction.
All one have to do is to paint there favourite T-shirt either with your favourite constellation figure or with the horizonal view of one
direction of perticular day, let us say your birth day. This can be costomized to any perticular day and can be used even to gift or for personal use later. In this Image our planetarium artist Rajesh Harsh is helping few of the students to draw there favrouite constellation. After completion we even made them wear it for one pose, for the memory.
My personal favourite in this is the extream right coner one. A detailed view of Leo constellation. All the bright stars and the constellation figure is clearly drwan.
Other things that can be added to this is color to he stars. According to there spectral class. Student can also be introduced to spectrum using this and even to black body curve. One can also motivate two different groups of the school to work together to make teach them team work. Few the groups working together in this can be - a photography group. They can take an image of an constellation or a horizon which can latter be drawn by art group student. Also, after finishing if willing these T - Shirts can be sale at school shop and the money can go to some cultural or participating groups fund. This fund can even be use by the school for some social work, if your school is actively participating in it.
Second Activity we will be making some simple figures of constellations or even beter making horizontal sky maps.
- Round Pots or Soccer Ball.
- Black and White Paint,
We will use round pots to make city and month specific sky maps and soccer balls can be use to make whole of the celestil
shpere. First paint completely back on pots (ball) so it give a feel of dark sky. Then, we start with drawing some reference circles. Best isto draw few of the mazor great circle. in case of a pot two of the great circles would be horizon and meridian. For ball this can be changed into a equator and meridian, using ecliptic is also a good idea. After
making these reference circles, the tricky work stars making stars on it. In this also to add more and more information we can choose different colors and size of circles according to there spectral class and magnitude. I would suggest a math group should also take part in this activity as it gives hand on experience for spherical trignometry. Students can understand terms like great circle, meridean even
longitude and latitude can also be explain through this. One can use restickable round circles to even demonstrate the position of Solar System bodies and can learn lot about our solar system and motions in it. The final product that you will get, will be a peice of art and part of sky or actually will comparise whole of the sky.
For this activity also few groups together can work together. Like Handycraft group can make these pots for art or mathematics group and science group can help the paiters with accurate skymaps and constellations in the sky.
If you happen to try these activities with your students kindly also let me know how it went off. Do share your own ideas to make it more enjoyable for the kids.
Have fun !