James Webb Space Telescope Launch Party
On December 25, 2021, the anticipated launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) took place at Arianespace's ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana onboard an Ariane 5 rocket!
Anyone can submit their art about the James Webb Space Telescope, as a picture or 1-minute video, using the #UnfoldTheUniverse hashtag on social media.
Get some fast facts about the JWST launch here, along with videos of prior Ariane 5 launches.
JWST Toilet Paper Tube Engineering
The JWST has to fold to fit into the Ariane 5 rocket that will launch it into space. Once deployed, it will have to unfold itself before it begins its mission. Your challenge is to build something that fits into a tube and then expands, unfurls, or pops open when removed! Check out the video introducing the challenge, then share your creation on our Flipgrid page!
Cut hexagons out of a template and assemble into the same shape as the JWST's primary mirror.
Make a bracelet to learn about the solar system, read about the life cycle of stars, and learn more about infrared imaging!
Middle School Activities
Use an analogy of water misted on a window to help students understand how Earth's atmosphere interferes with ground-based telescopes, then build models of Webb and Hubble's primary mirrors.
Teams of students will design a device to keep warm water warm and cold water cold. JWST's sun shield is essential to its mission, blocking out IR waves from the Sun.
Videos, articles, and activities about the James Webb Space Telescope from Scholastic magazine. They include information on exoplanets and profiles of the scientists behind Webb.
High School Activities
This NASA educator guide includes dozens of experiments, authentic math problems, and information on EM spectrum, spectroscopy, and how to interpret images from space-based telescopes like JWST. Check out smartphone thermal imaging in far-red band on page 61.
This demo of the inverse square law engages students with simple materials: markers, rulers, and balloons. While this particular activity references the Juno spacecraft, the same principles apply to the JWST.
Using actual images of galaxies, nebulae, and other space objects, experiment with processing these images to gain a better understanding of how scientists combine visible, IR, and UV spectra into stunning views of space!