Astro Summer Reading Program (K-12)

In partnership with the Kearney Public Library, the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UNK is offering an exciting summer reading program for children K-12.  Complete a gameboard with astronomy-related activities and receive prizes.

  1. Check out the free UNK planetarium show schedule:

  2. Check out a library book about the cosmos (search for  topics like: solar system, stars, galaxies, exoplanets, black holes, quasars, the Big Bang, life in the universe, etc.).

  3. Attend a free public planetarium show at the UNK Planetarium.

  4. Draw with sidewalk chalk your favorite cosmic object.

  5. Check out a book on the constellations. Which one is your favorite one?

  6. Find the Big Dipper on a clear starry night.

  7. Explore NASA’s Space Place websites:

  8. Take your parents stargazing in your backyard for at least 10 minutes.

  9. Draw your favorite planet and tell someone why you like it so much.

  10. Learn about total  solar eclipses from the NASA website:

  11. Find Orion’s belt on a clear starry night

  12. Check out a book on the myths behind constellations and read the story behind your favorite one.

  13. Draw a picture of the universe. Remember, you are part it!

  14. Fold an origami star. Examples:

  15. Attend a library program.

  16. Ask a friend if they know that Kearney will experience a total eclipse on August 21, 2017.

  17. Borrow a library movie about space, fiction or nonfiction (ex.: Cosmos, Interstellar, Gravity, Star Wars, Wall-E, etc.)

  18. Make your own star finder:

  19. Play a computer space game. Examples:

  20. Try the self-checkout machine at the library.

  21. Try the music streaming and download service Freegal at, Books & More tab. Look for an astronomy-themed song. Download up to three songs per week for FREE.

  22. Send a hand-drawn greeting card to somebody who does not live in Nebraska and tell them you will see a total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017.

  23. Explore the Kearney library resources on Astronomy in sections 520 for kids and adults.

  24. Do a fun hands-on activity from the list here:

  25. Tell your parents that to see the total solar eclipse you need special solar viewing glasses.

  26. Write a short space adventure story.

  27. Dress up in a crazy costume that’s out of this world! Take some pictures for keepsake.

  28. Try TumbleBooks (eBooks for kids) at, Books & More tab, eBooks. Login with your library card number and Search by Subject “astronomy.”

  29. Do a random act of kindness today.

  30. Visit a park with family or friends.

  31. Visit the UNK Planetarium and explore the “Light Beyond the Bulb” exhibit of astronomy images.


Many ways to win:

  • Half-way through the gameboard, receive a small prize.

  • Complete your game board fully and receive an ASTRONOMY POSTER.

  • Submit your complete gameboard by July 13, 2017 to be entered for a GRAND PRIZE drawing of one of the following:


    1. Astronomy-themed backpack

    2. 8” Plasma Ball

    3. STARGAZER interactive book on the night sky

    4. Heat-changing constellation mug

    5. HUBBLE’s UNIVERSE: greatest discoveries and latest images

    6. Night-sky playing cards

    7. Binoculars for night observing