Hands-On Aurora Activities

Explore the aurora with these hands-on activities!

Green aurora lights over a hill.UAF Photo by Todd Paris, 2015.

The northern lights are awe-inspiring! Aurora explorations can be a stepping stone for curiosity and student excitement about heliophysics: the study of the Sun/Earth system and the effects of the Sun on the Earth.



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  • Aurora Storytelling (Courtesy of Cultural Connections): Listen and watch elders tell stories about the northern lights. Include worksheets and discussion prompts to help students reflect on what they have learned. Videos are available at the Cultural Connections website.
  • Aurora Ingredients: Discover how solar energy, Earth’s magnetic field, and the atmosphere interact to create the aurora with a kinesthetic activity.
  • Explore Magnets: Explore how magnets work, and discover how magnetism helps create the aurora.

Child's hand holding a piece of green chalk and coloring a picture of the aurora.

Aurora Chalk Art activity. UAMN photo by Kristin Donaldson.


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This project was funded under NASA cooperative agreement NNX16AL65A and cooperative agreement number NNH15ZDA004C. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and  do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.