Space explorer try-it

Space Explorer Try-it [retired]

This Try-it was introduced in 1989 and retired in 2011.

Learning about the stars and planets and other things up there in the sky can open up a whole new world. Astronomers and astronauts use telescopes, satellites, spaceships, and other scientific equipment to study space. You, too, can take a step into space exploration.

As with all older Brownie Try-its, scouts need to complete 4 activities to earn the badge.

The Night SkyEdit

Go star gazing with an adult who knows the planets and the stars, or have an adult help you read a star map. Try to find the North Star, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, or other groups of stars. (They are called constellations).

The MoonEdit

Why does the moon look like it changes shape? One week it is full. The next time you see a half-moon. The moonlight you see is the sun shining on one side of the moon. As the earth and the moon move around the sun, you see the moon in different places. you also see the parts of the moon that get sunlight. Draw the moon on the same day of the week for four weeks. What did you see?

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

  • For the phases of the moon, see the NASA website. If you type in "Moon Phases" in the search box, it comes up with a lot of information, including a 6,000 year catalog of the phases from BC to thousands of years in the future! Also if you click on the For Students tab at the top of the home page, you can get information pages on a lot of different topics, such as: their moon information.

Ready, Set, JetEdit

Pretend that you are on a journey to a Girl Scout center on the moon. How would you dress for space? How would you move in space? Draw or create a costume for your journey. Show your drawing to others. Be ready to answer questions about your space outfit.

Shadow TimeEdit

Did you know that the earth rotates? It turns around much like a top. Have you seen the sun in different places in the sky? It looks like the sun is moving, but it is the earth that is moving. Try this activity to mark the earth's movement.

  1. On a sunny day, take a stick and put it in the ground. It should cast a shadow. Mark the very end of the shadow by placing another stick on the ground.
  2. Leave your sticks in the ground and return in an hour Has something changed? Use a third stick to mark where your shadow is now. Do this once more in another hour. Which way did your shadow move? What do you think made your shadow move? Is there a way you could use this movement to tell time?
  • Light of the Moon activity to show how Earth's shadow appears on the Moon and how the Moon can eclipse the Sun.

Star MakerEdit

Pick a favorite constellation, or create a pattern of stars to make you own indoor star show!

You will need:

  • A cylinder-shaped oatmeal container
  • A flashlight
  • A large safety pin
  1. Draw your constellation on the bottom of the cylinder-shaped container on the outside. Make dots to mark where the stars are in the constellation. Using the safety pins, punch holes in the box where you made the dots.
  2. At night or in a dark room, place the flashlight in the box and shine it on a blank wall or on the ceiling.
  3. Show your constellation to others. Tell them about your constellation. Put on a star show with your friends who have made their own constellation boxes.

Additional ResourcesEdit

Learn MoreEdit

Seasons [1] - A YouTube video showing how, as the Earth spins on its axis and around the Sun, the Sun's rays hit different parts of the Earth directly, creating the seasons. Also shows the angles the rays hit at the different seasons, which leads to why the degrees of latitude are what they are: why the Artic/Antartic Circle are at 23.5 degrees, because at the equinoxes, the rays hit the Circles at a 23.5 degree angle. Similar for the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer at 66.5 degrees.

Northern Lights and Solar Storms. Great, simple explanation of how solar storms affect the Earth's magnetic field and create the aurora borealis.


Alka Seltzer rockets Make your own miniature rocket with this template, plus a small photo film canister (you can still order these online, if you can't find any around) and some Alka Seltzer tablets.

Just Plain CoolEdit

What would it look like if you replaced the Moon with Jupiter?