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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment

Subject Areas: astronomy

Timeline: open

Grade Levels: 1-12

Purpose: to familiarize students with the night sky and the objects that appear in it


Achim Brauser



Square bullet Activities

  • Acquire materials:

    tin can about 6" in diameter

    flashlight bulb


    wood for stand.

  • Construct:

    the stand's angle should be equal to the latitude of the place of observation wires from the battery should be loose to allow spindle to turn

    punch and space holes to correspond to real constellations, with brighter stars having larger holes:

    * about a sixth of an inch should suffice for brightest stars
    * figure the Pole Star to be the center of the tip of the tin
    * figure the equator to be the center of the side of the tin
    * it may be helpful to mark the sides of the tin to indicate meridians
    * star positions should be marked prior to punching the holes; also, they
    should be marked in reverse to project properly

    the bulb should be in the equatorial plane

    200 to 300 holes are sufficient

    some practice may be required to get the holes situated, so be prepared to use more than one tin

    viewing is best in a small room (6' from the source), but larger rooms will give satisfying results.

Square bullet Resources

  • Wilkins and Moore. (1956). How to Make and Use a Telescope (pp.190-194)
  • Moore. (1973). Color Star Atlas


  • Make different tins to use for constellations not normally viewed at your latitude, or for the sun, moon, or other planets.
  • The planetarium can double as a light show!
  • Purchase a luminous star package and assemble on ceiling of a dark room.

Village Map and Directory

Land Selection

Local Weather Station

Star Mapping

6" Newtonian Reflecting Telescope Construction

Planetarium Construction

Investigation of Snow Melting

Insulation Experiments: Cardboard Boxes/Snow-Fenced Houses

Durable, Energy-Efficient Homes

Practical Application of Alternative Energy System

Solar Energy Uses

Construction of School/Community Facilities

Bush Shop or How to Learn Carpentry Without Wood

Basic Home Maintenance

Snowmachine Maintenance

Glider Construction (Aviation Shop)

Subsistence Tool Construction

Operating a Trapline, Subsistence Trapline, or Subsistence Net

Survival Skills

Heritage Campout

Netting Fish Efficiently

Natural History

Study of a Food Resource

Effects of Diet on Mice or Rats

Medicinal Plants

Farming the Sea

Summer Marine Science Program

Vegetable Gardening

Greenhouse Construction and Gardening

Chicken Farming

Water Usage Study

Garbage Disposal

Village Dogs

Fire Safety



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified August 17, 2006