All beginnings are difficult - but it must not be! Universe in a Box helps teachers overcome the initial hurdle of preparing to teach astronomy withexciting activities and models.

Cecilia Scorza, EU-UNAWE Germany

Universe in a Box Logo

Welcome to ‘Universe in a Box’ — an educational kit to assist teachers and educators in bringing astronomy and space sciences to 4–10 year old children around the world. Universe in a Box was developed to meet a demand for practical, interactive, and fun resources to bring astronomy to the classroom. It provides teachers and educators with over 40 practical activities as well as the materials and models required to do them.

Educational Goals

Universe in a Box was designed with the following educational goals in mind:

  • Support elementary school curriculum with a didactic tool for teachers to help them overcome the hurdle of initial preparation by choosing appropriate focus areas and providing appropriate learning objectives and materials.
  • Encourage inquiry-based learning among children, involving observing, discussing, drawing conclusions and presenting.
  • Link astronomical topics with other subjects such as mathematics, art, and philosophy to support interdisciplinary learning and present a more holistic view of our universe.
  • Make children aware that we are all inhabitants of a small fragile planet: our Earth. To help encourage the desire to protect the environment and to respect other cultures.

What's in the Box?

Universe in a Box has a modular design and comes with five modules: Our Fascinating Moon, The Earth — Our Home Planet, The Sun — Our Home Star, Our Solar System, and The World of Constellations. 

The box contains a comprehensive activity book describing 40 activities for children aged 4 to 10. The activity book includes relevant background information, how-to steps, guidance on further experimentation, and craft templates for use in the classroom. The box contains all the materials and models required to do the activities. Exceptions are commonly available materials such as clay, scissors or colour pencils.

If you would like to try some of the Universe in a Box activities yourself, the complete activity book is available free online here.

Who Can Use Universe in a Box?

Either individual activities or entire modules can be used in a classroom or a playroom, with an ideal instructor to student ratio of 1:20. The box has been designed to be used by any type of instructor, including but not limited to:

  • Schools / Teachers
  • Playgroups and Activity Centers
  • Science Centres, Planetaria, Museums
  • Amateur Astronomer Associations
  • Outreach Programmes
  • Independent Educators

Educators are also encouraged to customize the box with additional activities and materials of their own. The activity book is in loose-leaf folder format so that teachers can easily add additional activities to it.

How to Order

Orders for Universe in a Box are now open. 1000 Universe in a Box (English version) kits will be ready by January 2014. Shipping will start in March 2014.

Universe in a Box is a ‘one for one’ product. For every centre that gets one, we'll give one to a centre that cannot afford this resource, with the aim of inspiring more and more children with our cosmos. The price to order Universe in a Box is 128. This includes the production and handling (shipping) costs of two boxes. 

If you are an educational organization that needs five or more boxes, you can order them at the cost price of €75 per box including shipping and opt out of the 'One for One' approach.

To order a box, please follow this link: www.unawe.org/getauniversebox

Pay via Bank Transfer

The above link only supports payment via Credit Card (via Paypal). If you would like to pay via bank transfer, please fill out this Order Form (instead of following the above link).

Please quote your name, quantity, and the reference ‘UniBox-EN’ in the transfer.

IBAN: NL78RABO0102468869
BIC/SWITCH: RABONL2U
Account Number: 10.24.68.869
Account holder: Universiteit Leiden, faculteit W&N
Bank: RABO BANK
Subject of payment / message:  SAP 2010007401 - Universe in a Box

Funding Note

The entire development process of Universe in a Box, from prototyping to project management, has been funded by the European Union. The prices indicated here only include the handling costs. Not a commercial product. 

Do it Yourself Universe in a Box

For personal, non-commercial use, UNAWE also offers the possibility to build your own Universe in a Box. Please download the DIY guide and source files from here.

Licence

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Contact

If you are interested in knowing more about Universe in a Box, please contact us at: ashton@strw.leidenuniv.nl or info@unawe.org

We are eager to get your comments and remarks! 

If you've been using Universe in a Box in an exciting activity or event, or simply at school, we'd like to hear your story. Please use this form to tell us about it.

Downloads / Links

Credit List

Concept

Cecilia Scorza (EU-UNAWE Germany/House of Astronomy)

Project Management

Pedro Russo (EU-UNAWE/Leiden University), Jaya Ramchandani (UNAWE/Sirius Interactive)

Educational Development

Cecilia Scorza, Natalie Fischer (EU-UNAWE Germany/House of Astronomy)

Educational Support

Sara Khalafinejad (UNAWE/Leiden University), Jos van den Broek (Leiden University)

Business Development

Jaya Ramchandani (UNAWE/Leiden University)

Editorial Support

Erik Arends (UNAWE/Leiden University), Jaya Ramchandani (UNAWE/Sirius Interactive)

Activity Contribution

Angela Perez (UNAWE Colombia/Astronomy Kids Club), Curion Education Pvt. Ltd. (India)

Prototype Production

Curion Education Pvt. Ltd. (India)

Design

Charlotte Provot (EU-UNAWE/Leiden University)
Design Support: Diti Kotecha (ditikotecha.com, Graphic designer)
Web Support: John Pitsakis (clrblnd.com, Web designer and Photographer) 

Disclaimer We have taken care to credit all pictures. Unfortunately, this has not been possible in all cases. Should you be aware of the authorship of these uncredited pictures, please let us know!

Logo

Nikki Hartomo (Design), David Kerkhoff (Font)

Kickstarter supporters

Saevar Helgi Bragason, Eddy Echternach, Hanna Sathiapal, Karin Heesakkers, Suzy Gurton, Michael Garfitt, Chris Janssen, Megan Argo, Knud Jahnke, Mauricio Argote-Cortes, Hugo Buddelmeijer, Markus Pössel, Patricio Rojo, Gerarddyn A Dde Britto, Christian Gawrilowicz, Kaitlyn Martin, Linda Liem, Tom Lyons, Andrea Ettore Bernagozzi, Quinten van Kessel, Karen Masters, Rob Verseijden, Franco Vazza, Jean-FabioLove del Sordo, Rebecca Rasmussen, Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuno, Akihiko Tomita, Lulu D., Inaki Ortiz de Landaluce, Ana Neves, Carlos Rodríguez Landrove, Michelle Kothe, Bilim Akademisi, Alejandro Peredo, Turk Astronomi Dernegi, Paul Groot, Jarle Brinchmann, Thorsten Riess, Sue Davies, David Gruber, Lucia Marchetti, Catalina Movileanu, Edgardo Filippone, Shinichi Miyazaki, Martin Frey, Hans Eekels, Sarah Snell-Pym, Katy Cooper, Jean-Philippe Uzan, Carla Natario, Jens-Uwe Peter, Lawrence Rudnick, Chiara Tardioli, Ainil Syalvianty, Arie Oosterlee, Claire Burke, Simon Singh, Thomas Wermter, Chris Curry, Joslyn Layne, Marcel van den Brink, Claudia Mignone, Annemieke Petrignani, Jose Miguel Rodríguez Espinosa, Jeannette Hollaar, Roberto Mignone, Christian Fröschlin, Matteo Maturi, David Hellam, Maria Luiza Dantas, Peter Swaanenvelt, Gail Hofmar, Chantal Nobs, Jess Fuller-Smith, Cerian Brondum, Andreas P Rauch, Paola Pinilla, Sophie Felix, Christian Hettlage, Lenka Gorfman, Jim O'Leary, Samuel Tinguely, Karin Matthijsse, Loic Bommersbach, Luke Rasborsek, Pauline Barmby, M. van Schadewijk, Cristina Olivotto, Masaaki Hiramatsu, Robert Minchin, Richard Anderson, Bjorn Berg Gunnarsson, Frans Snik, Elisa Nichelli, Stefano Borgani, Steven Rieder, Boris Haeussler, Florian Freistetter, Courtney Williams, Kathryn O'Hara, Gráinne Costigan, Barbara Ferreira, Michelle Johns, Bernard de Vries, Emille Ishida, Reynir Orn Bachmann Gudmundsson, Jessica Lunt, Anne Land, Isabel Marquez, Arianna Piccialli, Deborah Scherrer, Fiona Ashton, Anna Hobbiss, Alexander Luedeke, Matthias Lindner, Peter Wilkinson, Ramin Skibba, Julia Westner, Toby Friebel, Armando Lencioni, Jacob W.M. Baars, Leo Breebaart, Christopher Kyba, Allena Baker, Peter Newbury, Ana Bernardo, Roberto Ligrone, Daniel Golombek, Giovanna Pedaletti, Marta Entradas, Luis Calcada, Nancy Irisarri, Mathijs de Meijer, Martine Oudenhoven, Mohaddesseh Azimlu, Ernst Kuiper, Atish Nazir, Iris Nijman, Vanessa Luque, ailleris, Roland Gaida, Dave Lommen, Lisa Sandell, David, Remco Meinsma, Mike Conterio, Euan Monaghan, Andreas Keller, Christina Cromeyer Dieke, Leonie Steckermeier, Marcel van Daalen, Grant Tremblay, Tanushri Shukla, Brian Levine, Hugo Andre Costa, Liesa Westner, Science Mug, Andra Stroe, Andy Howell, Viv White, Jonas Matthias, Bas vdh, Nate Pink, Robert Hollow, Ed Brereton, Andy Beale, Bram Pieter Venemans, Science Office, Jan-Willem Bos, Linda Lemmens, Graf von Garstig, Meghie Rodrigues, Mattia Fumagalli, August Muench, Aswin Sekhar, Ros Skelton, Mies Grijns, Helen Minchin and Ricarda Beckmann.