Befriending an alien

You're asleep one night.

You are woken by an enormous crash in the park behind your house. You grab your torch.

You quietly get up to investigate, careful not to wake your parents. In the park you see a spacecraft crashed in the dirt. There's an alien lying on the ground at the bottom of the burnt-out crater.

It looks hurt, and confused. You want to try and communicate with it. Suddenly there is a giant flash of bright green light from the sky down to the spacecraft. The alien looks excited by the light, so you decide to ask it some questions about light.

Copy and complete this question grid.

Fill the grid with questions about light.

Check out Mum's Workshop for help with asking questions and watch this for some ideas about light.

You ask your questions to the alien. It doesn't understand. The alien looks hurt and confused.

You pick it up carefully and carry it back your bedroom in the dark.

You don't want to wake your parents. You are worried that they will tell the police and your little alien will be taken away to have experiments done on it.

You figure that if you can communicate with the alien, maybe you can help it to get back to its people.

You try another way to get the alien interested in communicating with you. You try to show it how a rainbow is made by splitting white light into all the colours that make up a rainbow.

Complete this experiment then take a photo or video of it.

If you need help with conducting experiments check out your Dad's lab.

  1. Fill a glass of water (almost to the top) and place it at the very edge of the counter in a dark kitchen.

  2. Place a sheet of plain white paper on the floor a few centimetres away from the counter.

  3. Put two pieces of masking tape over the front of a flashlight so that the light comes out of a slit about 1/3 of a centimetre wide.

  4. Shine this light across and down into the water as shown in the figure.

  5. When a narrow beam of light is passed through a glass of water, a spectrum can be seen on a white sheet of paper.

  6. Can you see a small rainbow on the white paper? If not, move the flashlight around a little until you achieve the best results.

When the alien sees the rainbow, it stands up and looks very excited!

It points to itself and says, in a high-pitched voice, "LUNA".

Her name is Luna!

You are making some progress...

Luna then tries to talk to you using hand signals. She looks like she is drawing some kind of graph.

A graph! Okay, you decide you will draw her a graph and see if she understands it.

You mum makes lots of graphs for her job so you sneak into her room and find a table of data to turn into a graph.

Turn this data table into a graph.

Make sure you read your mum's instructions about how to make a graph.

This is a graph about how much energy is in different materials.

Note: MJ/kg is short for "megajoules per kilogram". It just means how much energy is in each kilogram of that material. So we know that there is a lot more energy in a kilogram of natural gas than of wood.

Luna loves the graph you made! She looks really interested now.

You try another way to communicate with her. She liked the graph, so maybe she will like a labelled photo even more!

Take a photo of an electrical appliance at home (like a toaster, microwave, lamp). Label the photo with the parts of an electrical circuit:

  1. Power source (e.g. plug)

  2. Switch (where it turns off and on)

  3. Load (what the energy is being used for)

Also state what type of energy the electricity is being turned into.

You can learn about electrical circuits here, look at a diagram of one here, and learn how to label photos in Dad's lab here.

Luna starts making noises, she is definitely starting to understand now.

You have a great idea. Your dad has a star map locked in a cupboard. You can show the star map to Luna and she can tell you where she is from!

The cupboard lock requires you to key in the answer to 10 questions to open. Your dad loves puzzles and tricks!

Complete the quiz below. Keep doing it until you can get 100%.

You will need knowledge to pass the quiz. Get more knowledge in one or more of these ways:

  1. Read texts

  2. Look at posters

  3. Watch videos

Feel free to have the library page open in another tab to help you answer the questions.

You got everything right! You take the star map out.

Go to Challenge #2