Senior Space Science Expert Badge Activity


Make a Stardust Self-Portrait


Discover elements of a supernova and make a stardust self-portrait to show how humans are made up of those elements.

Activity Details

Senior Space Science Expert: Make a Stardust Self-Portrait

Time needed: 30 minutes plus 5 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to clean up

Materials needed:

  • Paper
  • Art supplies

Setup:  When a massive star explodes at the end of its life—an event called a supernova—the star’s elements scatter into space. Over time, elements made during the supernova, including those heavier than iron, are recycled into new stars and planets. The naturally occurring elements found on Earth were once at the heart of a star. Since humans are made up of the elements, we are literally made of stardust.

Activity: Your stardust self-portrait will be created as an infographic. An infographic transforms information from a set of numbers into a compelling visual image—it makes data more interesting, appealing, and easier to understand.

The four chemical elements that make up most of the atoms in your body are hydrogen (62%), oxygen (24%), carbon (12%), and nitrogen (1.1%), with traces of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, and chlorine that collectively make up about 0.6%, and a variety of trace elements adding up to about 0.3%. Use this data to create an infographic by drawing an outline of yourself or a different shape to represent you.

Calculate or estimate how much space each element should take up and divide your shape accordingly. Then, label and fill in each section using a different color or pattern.

Before you begin, take a look at some infographic examples to inspire you.

Share your infographic with your family and friends, explaining what it means to be made of stardust.

Troop Leaders:  The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your  Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.

Girl Scouts at Home activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.

Adapted from Step 1 of the Cadette Space Science Researcher badge. Purchase the the official Badge Booklet to complete all requirements and earn the badge.