Infrared Selfie

This teaching resource has been submitted by Nicole Candian at Discovery Diaries.


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths)

Learning Level

Elementary/Primary School (Age 5-11)

Short Overview

The light Webb collects is in the infrared region of the spectrum. The human eye cannot detect these wavelengths (for example, we cannot see light emitted from a remote control we use to change the channel on a TV), so we need specialist instruments like those on Webb to detect and study what would otherwise be invisible. Students are invited to draw selfies based on a color temperature scale.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson the student/s will be able to:

– Draw
– Imagine and Invent
– Reflect
– Visual Literacy

Resources Required

Smartphone/device or computer to access Zap code (optional), Colouring pencils.


Download the Deep Space Activity Sheet (PDF)
Download the Deep Space Teaching Notes (PDF)

Useful Links

Watch this YouTube video by the Hubble Space Telescope on Infrard Astronomy 
Watch this YouTube video by NASA on Infrared Energy 
Listen to this podcast by Ask an Astronomer
Read this Q&A with Martyn Wells, an optical engineer who oversaw the optical design of the MIRI instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope.