The Finds

Exploring the Milky Way ~ Free NASA Download

Exploring the Milky Way ~ Free NASA Download


Exploring the Milky Way is a free 58-page download from NASA aimed at middle-grade students. Using real world examples, the student can brush up on using large numbers, coordinate systems, and problem solving.

This collection of activities is intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 6 through 8, but where the topics are drawn from astronomy and space science. As a science extension, ‘Exploring the Milky Way’ introduces students to mapping the shape of the Milky Way galaxy, and how to identify the various kinds of galaxies in our universe. Students also learn about the shapes and sizes of other galaxies in our universe as they learn how to classify them.

This engaging resource is written directly to the student, and full of illustrations, examples, charts, and graphs.
After reviewing scientific notation, the student reads the text and works the problems including:

  • Finding the number of kilometers in a light year.
  • Plotting points on a graph to discover a shape.
  • Finding the distance between stars.
  • Finding the mass of a galaxy.
  • Plotting star clusters and nebulae.
  • Classifying galaxies.

An answer key is provided in the back.
Here is another fun way to keep math and science skills sharp during the summer. And it is free!

Free Resource
Additional Resources

The New Astronomy Book by Danny R. Faulkner
Covers the basics of astronomy, the moon, the night sky, stars, planets, galaxies, comets, and much more. The Astronomy Book Study Guide