Classroom Materials

Stuff for your classroom! Includes educational activities, posters, information, and even a complete booklet to build your own paper model of Swift.

Gamma Ray Burst Educator Unit

These standards-based activities are designed to use gamma-ray bursts -- unimaginably huge explosions which signal the births of a black holes -- to engage your students and teach them science and math concepts.

Swift Satellite Model

This booklet contains all the instructions, drawings, and descriptions needed to build a paper model of the Swift satellite. It was inspired by the model originated by the Italian Swift E/PO group, and adheres to the national technology standards. Almost all of the work to produce the English version of this model was done by Aurore Simonnet. Download the PDF format (9.3 Mb) or the disability accessible PDF here.

Swift Museum Slides

These three slides which summarize the Swift mission, were created for use in the museum exhibit entitled "Cosmic Questions." The exhibit is now touring the country, and was developed by NASA's Structure and Evolution of the Universe Education Forum and a grant from NSF.

The Swift Song

The Swift Song is the theme song of the mission; an upbeat, catchy pop tune which teaches listeners about the math and science behind the elusive gamma ray bursts and the Swift satellite. It's a roller coaster gamma ray ride!

Performed by The Chromatics as part of their AstroCappella educational project: The Chromatics are an a capella group of astrophysicists including Padi Boyd, Alan Smale, Karen Smale, Lisa Kelleher (all from NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center), John Meyer (JHU), Deb Nixon, and Paul Kolb. Lyrics and music to written by Padi Boyd. Produced by Jeff Gruber (Blue House Productions) and The Chromatics. Copyright 1999 P. Boyd.

The Swift Brochure

A colorful brochure about Swift, written for the public.

The Swift Glider

The Swift satellite is named for an agile bird that catches its food on the fly. Now you can build a paper airplane designed to look like a Swift! The kit comes with pre-printed heavy-duty colored paper, and assembly only takes a few minutes.

GEMS The Invisible Universe: The Electromagnetic Spectrum from Radio Waves to Gamma-rays Guide

This uses the mystery of gamma-ray bursts to teach about the Electromagnetic Spectrum through a series of activities. This booklet can be order on our online form listed above.

The Swift Sticker

A spectacular image of the Swift satellite and depiction of the mission

For Younger Kids:

This charming short story about Swift was written in Italian by Monica Sperandio, and translated into English by Giuliana Giobbi.

Newton's Laws of Motion

This is a set of 4 posters depicting and explaining Newton's laws of motion and gravitation. A set of classroom activities accompanies each poster. The activities were created to complement each other as an overall unit, whether in science or math. Here is a archive of files (ZIP 145KB) of how one teacher presents these posters.

Swift Eyes Through Time

Swift Eyes Through Time is a 6-unit curriculum for grades 5-8 consisting of an educator's guide accompanied by videos, one for each unit. It uses the excitement of gamma-ray burst science to teach various standards-aligned topics in science and mathematics that illustrate the scientific process. Lesson plans, handouts for both teachers and students, and standards-alignment information are provided for each unit. This curriculum was developed by the Educational Services division of Penn State Public Broadcasting.