AURORA 4 kids

Earth Observation for Kids

We were blown away by our time at the AURORA Project Stand in the COSMOS Zone at New Scientist Live 2018. It was amazing to talk to people of all ages about Earth Observation and what it really means in our daily lives.

Working with kids and chatting to  teachers at our stand, we were inspired to create an AURORA Kids Page on our web site.

Teachers, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents….check out our material if you want to start teaching the new generation about Earth Observation, Air Quality, Ozone….in a fun way!

You can download all AURORA material free from our webpage.

Poster Ozone

How to explain it to children?

Looking at the poster, invite kids to identify ozone at different altitudes in the atmosphere i.e. near the surface (troposphere) and far from the surface (in the stratosphere).

Stratospheric ozone is ‘’good’’ because it absorbs potentially dangerous UV rays that come from the Sun. Ozone is also emitted in the lower layers of the atmosphere by human activities. Tropospheric ozone is “bad” because it is toxic for humans and plants. It is also dangerous for the planet, because it is a greenhouse gas, strictly linked to global warming and climate change.

Colouring – Girls and Boys on the Beach

How to explain it to children?

While kids are colouring the different parts of the drawing, try to explain them the importance of protecting our body from the radiation reaching us from the Sun. UV rays are able to penetrate the skin and can cause sunburn, skin ageing and skin cancer. They are also dangerous as they may also lead to macular degeneration and cataracts.


Drawing – what can you see from Space?

How to explain it to children?

Invite kids to think about what is possible to see from satellites. Stimulate their creativity and sense of imagination. Once they are done you can show them some photo images from the Copernicus Sentinel Satellites, like the ones found here: land-monitoring , atmospheric-monitoring

Earth Observation presentation

How to explain it to children?

Download here our full presentation explaining Earth Observation to children


Some more Ideas!

Build a model satellite with recycled material! Use toilet paper tubes, cardboard boxes, plastic bottle tops, tin-foil, material scraps… to build your own mini-satellite to observe the Earth
Here’s how to do it:


Build a model satellite with recycled material! Built the platform, called a bus, which in a real satellite would contain all the main systems (including batteries, computer and thrusters). You can use small cardboard boxes (e.g. medicine or tea boxes)



Cover the platform with aluminium foil to protect the main systems and to keep heat in. Add radiators to release heat from electrical equipment. The new “smart” radiators for satellites are inspired by origami. Their three-dimensional structure made out of temperature-sensitive materials, like shape-memory alloys, can fold and unfold to preserve and shed heat, respectively. Use your creativity and enjoy building it!


Attach the antennas and payload instruments (such as cameras, telescopes and communications equipment) to the bus. You can use paper tubes, plastic bottle tops and any material scrap.



Large solar arrays (called wings) covered with light-sensitive solar cells provide several kilowatts of power to satellites. Use long and narrow cut-outs of blue sponges to create your solar arrays and put them sideways.


…Enjoy the launch of your satellite!


An experience in an Italian school

Italian version of the AURORA presentation for KIDS: PDF version, Power Point version

Some pictures:

KidsITA (1) KidsITA (2)
KidsITA (3) KidsITA (4)
KidsITA (5) KidsITA (6)

Other fabulous sites with material for Kids

European Space Agency site for Children – ESA KIDS

Kids Know It Network site on Astronomy: