Tools for Educators   |   Materials in Other Languages   |    Presentations for Outreach

SDSS Education and Outreach

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey offers teachers and informal science educators a wealth of astronomical data and images through lesson plans, interactive media, presentations and more.

Our materials will show your students everything from asteroids in our own solar system to the most distant quasars ever observed! Students can explore truly exotic objects such as carbon stars, methane dwarfs, and supernovae, all using the same high-quality data that professional astronomers use.

Tools for Educators

  • SkyServer — Visit the Science Projects section for lessons, activities and games appropriate for kids of all ages. Most use the SDSS data exclusively. A parallel set of project pages specifically for educators include a project overview, background, lesson plan, teaching tips, assessments and information on how each project links to national science, math and technology standards.

  • American Museum of Natural History's Science Bulletins feature on the SDSS — The bulletin features essays on the survey, interactive media and videos. A separate area provides resources for educators.

    • In particular, check out this essay and the accompanying video for an excellent introduction to the SDSS project.

  • World Wind — This open source software for Windows lets you zoom through the sky using the SDSS data set. Start by downloading and installing World Wind from Then download and install the SDSS add-on from

  • COSMUS — The COSMUS group produces visualizations that explain scientific concepts and data. They have created several visualization tools for SDSS including an interactive 3D fly-through of the universe and an interactive walkthrough of Apache Point Observatory.

  • Professor Nichol (ICG Portsmouth) shows children from Avon Valley College around the new SDSS exhibit at the Intech Science Center.
    If you're in Winchester UK, visit the SDSS Explore the Universe exhibit at the Winchester Science Center.

  • SDSS/RC3 Atlas — This atlas, put together by the cosmology group at NYU (led by David Hogg), has high-quality images of RC3 galaxy catalog members in the Sloan footprint.

  • Galaxy Zoo — This site allows anyone to classify SDSS observations of galaxies. A great tool to look at real scientific data!

SDSS Materials in Other Languages

Translations of some of the data access tools and educational projects on the SDSS SkyServer by clicking on the flags at the top of the page. Translations of parts of the site are available in German, Hungarian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The SDSS education and outreach website is also available in Belarusian.

Educational projects in Spanish are available through Bling Bling Universe.

Galaxy Zoo is also available in German, French, and Polish - click on the dropdown menu in the top left corner to change languages.

Presentations for Outreach

The materials below are provided for noncommerical use. Please credit the author and SDSS when using the complete presentations or any part of the materials. If you distribute any part of these presentations or printed copies of any SDSS material, please abide by the guidelines set out by the collaboration for acknowledging credit.