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Pin Hole Planetariums

Pinhole planetariums are fun for Scouts to make because the creation process involves hammers, nails, and flashlights. And they encourage Scouts to look up at the night sky to see what they have learned about constellations.


  • Clean, empty 15 oz cans (1 for each constellation)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Constellation patterns (see printable copy)


  1. Cut out the patterns. (See the printable version to get the patterns.)
  2. Glue the patterns to the ends of the cans and let the glue dry.
  3. Using the hammer and nail, punch holes through the patterns into the can where the dark black dots are locate.
  4. Turn out the lights in the room.
  5. Place a flashlight in the can and turn it on.
  6. Look at the bottom of the can. You should be able to see the pattern of the constellation through the holes.

The universe is not static. Plus, some of the placements for the nail holes had to be adjusted due to being to close together. If the accuracy of the constellation pattern is important, you must use a star chart. The pictures on the patterns are just to give the scouts an idea how the ancients used their imaginations to visualize the constellations.

Print This

Printable copy of   Pinhole Planetarium


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