Education

NASA Comes Out With 2020’s Moon Phase Calendar and Calculator

Image: NASA

Perfect for families who love to look at the night sky (or even the day sky, with the moon), you can print and make your own moon phase calendar on NASA’s website. NASA’s site has a ridiculously huge amount of free educational materials that you can download and use for all ages and grade levels. Some of it is pretty involved, but plenty of it is simple, like this calendar, with projects that you can easily do as a one-time or ongoing thing with your kids. (Once I made a semi-scale model of the big dipper that you viewed from below, with aluminum foil balls acting as stars, hanging from different distances from the ceiling. It was neat, but I can’t find it to link to. Sorry.)

For the Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator, just download the PDF document and print it out on cardstock (or just paper, if that’s all you have). Cut out the little windows as marked, put a brad in the middle (or just pin it to the wall with a push pin), and start lining everything up for the proper date. Go to the site for more detailed instructions.

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The resulting project shows information for the date you’re looking at, including the phase of the moon and where in the sky to look for it. It’s good for the entire year of 2020, and I’m pretty sure they do this every year.

If that’s not enough moongazing for your family, you can also print out pages of the Moon Journal to encourage your kids to study its phases over the months.

And if that’s still not enough, you can find educational materials on Observing the Moon (grades K-6), Measuring the Supermoon (grades 5-12), Moon Phases (grades 1-6), Whip Up a Moon-Like Crater (grades 1-6), and Modeling the Earth-Moon System (grades 6-8). If you’re pressed for time, suggest these projects to your kids’ teachers or their grandparents.

Learning about the moon is pretty much the easiest thing you can do with astronomy, and NASA makes it easy to do. Check it out.

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This post was last modified on December 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is Editor-in-Chief of GeekMom and an Editor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, facilitating the education of her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

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