Sky Scan Science Outreach Program

University of Alberta observatory domes

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Grade 6
Grade 9

"Thank you so much for visiting our class on Friday! The kids loved it...they thought it was pretty cool to meet a "real" Astronomer! Thanks again, Janine"

Updated September 11, 2013

Sky Scan Science Outreach Program



Sky Scan aims to engage children's natural curiousity with real science projects involving the electromagnetic spectrum. We provide support to teachers of Science 6 and Science 9 through astronomy projects using visible light and radio waves.


Astronomy is a science that easily captures the imagination of children and can serve as a gateway to help a child develop interests in all areas of science. Our goal is to encourage active learning through exploration of topics set by the Alberta curriculum guidelines. In particular, we can help you meet the learning goals of Unit C Sky Science in Science 6 and Unit E Space Exploration in Science 9.


Who are we?

Sky Scan is a not-for-profit partnership between the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta, the Edmonton Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the Edmonton Science Outreach Network. A Sky Scan astronomer will make visits to your classroom or host a visit from your class to the University of Alberta.


In the September 2013 to June 2014 school year, we are happy to provide support for science classes who wish to participate in one of the following programs. All of these programs can be customized to your class plans. There is no charge for participation in any of our programs. If you are interested in one of these programs, please follow the signup links for Grade 6 and Grade 9 below. If you have questions you can add them to the signup form, or you can email us at: for more information.


Programs for all grade levels


View the Sun during a daytime visit to the University of Alberta's new observatory on the roof of the new CCIS building. We have a telescope that is specially designed for safely viewing the Sun. If the sky is cloudy, we will provide a short presentation and lead your students on an optics activity. For all visits to the observatory, the maximum number of students is 30, and there should be at least one adult for every 10 students.


View the Stars during a night visit to the University of Alberta's observatory. In case of cloudy skies we will provide a presentation on an appropriate topic in astronomy.


Request a visit from a Sky Scan astronomer to make a presentation to your class on a topic in either the Sky Science or Space Exploration Science units.


Host a Star Party. A volunteer astronomer(s) can visit your school with a telescope(s) to provide an evening "Star Party" where students can look through a telescope at objects in the night sky such as the Moon, stars, planets, and other objects.


Borrow a telescope. These telescopes are specially designed for kids to use and are very robust and difficult to break. We provide a visit to your class to teach you and your students how to use the telescope, talk to your students about astronomy and provide tips for observing stars, planets and the Moon. They are best used for night time observing. It's also possible, but not as easy, to view the Moon during parts of the lunar cycle during the day.


For Grade 9 classes, we also offer:


Meteor observing using FM radios. When a meteor passes through the Earth's atmosphere, it ionizes the atmosphere which improves its ability to reflect radio waves. This allows you to briefly hear a far away radio station that you normally couldn't detect. In this project, we install an antenna on the roof of your school and provide you with an FM radio receiver, computer software, and training to allow your students to do a science project observing meteor showers using this very simple radio telescope. For more information about this project, please visit FM Radio Meteor Project.


Sky Science 6 Topics

The Sun, Moon and the solar system


Stars, constellations and planets in the night sky

Seasonal changes, phases of the Moon

Our solar system in the larger universe

Sign me up for Grade 6 Sky Science

(Please be sure to include your name, school, and the number of Science 6 classes that will be involved)


Space Exploration Science 9 Topics

Origins and makeup of the solar system

Planets, satellites, and orbits

Science of optical and radio telescopes

Position and motion of objects in space

Predicting phenomena such as meteor showers - and more

Sign Me Up for Grade 9 Space Exploration

(Please be sure to include your name, school, and the number of Science 9 classes that will be involved)


We are also developing new projects, so we welcome your input! We also welcome home-school groups and youth groups such as Scouts and Guides.



Copyright 1999-2013 by Sky Scan, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the 

Edmonton Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Department of Physics (University of Alberta)

and the

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

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