Your own Draco Constellation using Fiber Optics – Storybook Science


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Dragons are big in our house right now. My oldest son is reading the Eragon series, and the young ones are huge Toothless fans. The youngest even roars like a dragon all day long! So when I decided to join other writers this month writing about storybook inspired science, I knew we needed to find a dragon book! So I went to our local library, and found a sweet book about the Draco constellation.

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

The Draco Constellation with Fiber Optics

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The book I found is called “Flight of the Last Dragon“. The story tells the tale of the last dragon on earth named Ultimon. The dragon hears a call from the stars, and ascends to the heavens to join them. I loved the story. I could truly sense the dragon’s loneliness, being the last of his kind on earth, and his desire to find a place to belong. 

My kids were excited to learn they could find a dragon in the stars, but they wanted to bring the Draco constellation into our house. Remembering a Tinker Crate about light we had done a year or so ago, I found a way to make the constellation come to life inside.

Materials:

  • Small Blue Fiber Optic Lamp
  • 1 piece of black construction paper or black origami paper
  • 1 piece of chalk
  • glue (make sure it will dry clear)

How to make a Draco Constellation

Step 1: Make a paper box using the black construction paper. (I used this great tutorial here to make my box!)

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

Step 2: Turn the box upside down, and draw the Draco Constellation on the box using chalk. The constellation is shown on the last page of “Flight of the Last Dragon”. Draw the stars as dots first, then connect the dots.

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

Step 3: Poke a hole through the box at each of the dots. Make sure the hole goes all the way through.

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

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A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

Step 4: Flip the box over, and place one drop of glue on each hole.

Step 5: Push one strand of your fiber optic lamp through each hole, from the back to the front of the box. Leave alone until the glue is completely dry.

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

Step 6: On the front of the box (the side where the constellation is drawn), snip each strand of the fiber optic cable that extends too far. You want each strand to extend no farther than 1 or 2 mm.

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

Step 7: Take your box and lamp to a dark room, and turn on the lamp. You now have your own Draco constellation!

A great constellation science activity for kids! Make your own Draco constellation using fiber optics!

All three of my boys thought it was amazing to have a dragon in our house! They were also in awe of how the light traveled through the fiber optics to the very tip of the fiber to make the stars of our constellation!

Adding a fun activity when reading a book is a great way to make a story really come alive! As my oldest went to bed tonight, he told me “Thank you for making the constellation for me. Its like I have the last dragon in my room“. This boy mom’s heart is full!

For more great Storybook activities, head over to Inspiration Laboratories for a month full of storybook inspired science activities!

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