Materials for Educators
"Build the Webb Telescope's Mirror" Activity
(For younger children, although some big kids like to do it, too!)
Foam core or matboard (for puzzle base)
Gold matboard or plastic
Small plastic box with lid for storing the puzzle pieces
1. Print this pdf file, adhere to foam core or matboard, and laminate for durability.
2. Print an extra of JWSTpuzzle2.pdf and cut out one of the hexagons to use as a pattern. Cut 30 hexagons from gold matboard or sheet of gold plastic. (We used a laser cutter to cut them out of plastic. Cutting 30 hexagons gives you some extra in case any disappear.) Store the pieces in the small box.
3. Set the puzzle board and the box of pieces flat on a table.
4. Tell the kids how the mirror pictured is much, much smaller than the real Webb mirror system. You could use this photo for scale, showing a person next to one segment. Explain that Webb's mirror is really 18 separate mirrors that must all work together—just like their soccer team or class must work together to get the best results.