Polynesian navigators used stars, sun, waves and birds to find their way. Europeans relied on different technology: the compass. Try making your own. All you will need is a sewing needle, a small magnet, a piece of cork or polystrene, a small bowl of water and a pair of pliers.
Make Your Own Stick Chart
Polynesian sailors in the Marshall Islands navigated using a map built from small seashells, wooden sticks, and various parts of a coconut. The curved lines showed the direction and flow of the ocean swell. The shells represented islands. Using pipe cleaners and beads, make your own stick chart. Brainstorm ideas about things you could make a map of: your house, your school, the way water flows in streams into the sea.
Constellations are groups of stars forming a recognisable pattern traditionally named after a mythological figure or animal. They are imaginary creations that poets, farmers and astronomers made up over the past 6,000 years (and probably even more!). The stars in the sky below form the constellation Canis Major. By joining the dots people could see the shape of a dog.
Below are the stars that form other famous constellations. Can you find a way to join the dots and turn them into picture of their constellation?
At school, a teacher may be able to download the free Skyview Lite App onto a tablet. The App uses an augmented-reality interface to show what's circling in space around you. You can track your favourite constellations and planets as they move across the sky, and you don't have to wait for the sun to set. Available for iOS and Android.