Lego Space

Editing audio always takes 10 times as long as I expect. Audio is being edited from the conference, and cool stuff will appear tomorrow if it kills my processor.

This semester I’m teaching science for pre-service elementary and early childhood teachers (translation: students who will one day teach pre-school through third grade). I also have another future middle school teacher working on a senior thesis with me. All these future teachers have my brain busy trying to find a toy for everything. My one student is actually on a mission to find Lego models for all the different space telescopes, and the folks over on BAUTForum are helping her.

So far they have helped her find:

We are still looking for Hubble, Chandra, and Compton or GLAST. If all else fails, there is a need Lego CAD that allows one to design anything, and it could be really fun to use 🙂 While building Lego satellites isn’t all that educational, it does teach little kids the parts (solar panels, tube, antennae) of a space craft, and it teaches them to follow plans and build things. All good things. And Legos are just fun 🙂

Along the way, one of the folks who goes by “EvilEye” sent along a picture (above, credit Stellafane) of a Lego telescope built by Alan Rifkin of FAR Laboratories. It is a completely functional telescope, and it is way cool. It has me inspired to try and figure out how to build a reflector this way. I need to find some middle schooler looking for a science fair project, and inflict my Lego vision on them (The trick is finding one who has rich parents – I can’t even afford enough Lego’s to do this!)

I just had to share. This is one of the coolest silly functional things I’ve seen in a long time.

What can I say? I want one!


  1. Rob Gutro, NASA Public Affairs March 24, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    Hi Dr. Gay – I came across your blog (and think it’s great!) – and I noticed you’re seeking a GLAST Lego. Unfortunately, one hasn’t been put together.
    I’m the lead public affairs officer for NASA on the GLAST mission, working with Sonoma State University (who developed all the educational materials).
    Although there isn’t a Lego model of the spacecraft, you can find other educational materials at:
    In addition, did you know there’s a challenge to rename the GLAST satellite (it will be renamed 2 months after launch)?
    The challenge ends March 31st, and you can find information about it at:
    Keep up the great blog!
    Rob Gutro
    Public Affairs Officer
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Greenbelt, Md.

  2. John M. March 24, 2008 at 10:03 am #

    I would like to make an entire alternate reality out of Legos.

  3. jsb16 March 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    That’s really cool. Legos are awesome, just generally, and a functional telescope made of Legos? Way, way cool.

    The blurb from the Dutch blog is pretty cool, too.


  1. Sterrenkunde met LegobijAstroblogs - March 24, 2008

    […] Even een bericht in de categorie Creatief met kurk Lego. Ik lees zojuist een alleraardigst blogje van Pamela L.Gay (Starstryder) en het gaat over modellen van bekende professionele telescopen die ze van Lego willen nabouwen èn over gewone huis-tuin-en-keuken telescopen gemaakt van Lego. Nee mensen, ik heb niet teveel paaseieren gegeten, het is bloedserieus. Ten eerste die modellen. Na een oproep van Pamela Gay in een Amerikaans sterrenkundeforum zijn er al twee modellen naar voren gekomen: van de infrarood ruimtetelescoop Spitzer én van de toekomstige opvolger van de Hubble, de James Webb. Compleet met instructies en bouwtekeningen! Wie thuis met dozen vol afgebroken Legokastelen en -boerderijen zit kan ze hiermee een tweede leven bezorgen! De vraag is wie nog meer modellen kan aanreiken van de Hubble, Chandra, Compton en GLAST-telescopen. Eh… let even op dat die laatste telescoop een andere naam krijgt, want GLAST klinkt voor geen meter. Dan de categorie gewone telescopen van Lego gemaakt. Er zijn dus echte Legoscopen, waarmee je daadwerkelijk sterren en andere objecten aan de hemel kunt bekijken. Een voorbeeld is die van iemand genaamd Lazy Stargater, die een legoscoop met 60 mm achromatische refractor met een brandpuntsafstand van 500 mm heeft gemaakt (zie afbeelding). Echt lui kan je zo’n ijverig man toch niet noemen. Afijn, als iemand zich tweede paasdag stierlijk gaat vervelen kan ‘ie wellicht aan de slag met de Lego van de kinderen. Succes ermee! Bron: Starstryder. […]

  2. Legos and Space - March 24, 2008

    […] at Star Stryder, Dr. Pamela Gay has a post on Legos and space in the classroom, complete with an image of a functional lego telescope. Now […]

Leave a Reply