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Make Your Own Rubin Voices Trading Card!

Teacher Guide

Rubin Voices Trading Cards are intended to showcase the diversity of people who make the observatory and its science possible. We want our students to see themselves in a STEM/STEAM career as well!

We have provided customizable templates in four different colors that students can use to design their own Rubin Voices Trading Cards. These may be completed digitally or printed.

Google doc versions of blank trading cards

Please do not adjust the right and left indent handles on the top of the Google doc template. They are preset so that the text fits properly in the tables.

Suggestions for introducing and creating personal trading cards

  1. Begin by having students examine a set of Rubin Voices trading cards that reflect a diversity of careers. This may be done individually or in groups.
    1. If in a group setting, give a trading card to each student and ask them to read their card to the group as if they are the person on that card and they are introducing themself.

    2. Optional: Students can explore the complete profile of their person at the Rubin Voices webpage.

    3. Ask: Is there anything you found on one of the cards that surprised you, or that you want to share? Hobbies? Background?

    4. Optional: If students are using these in conjunction with doing a Rubin Observatory classroom investigation, ask them to find a scientist who is studying the same types of objects as in the investigation.

  2. Facilitate a conversation about how students may see themselves in a STEM or STEAM career. Students often have a limited understanding of what a STEAM career might entail, thinking that they must be either a scientist or an engineer. You may need to help with a definition of STEAM/STEM.
  3. Depending on your focus, you may wish to have students imagine only astronomy (observatory) - related careers, or open it up to include any type of STEAM/STEM career. Some questions to ask:
  4. What do you like to do? What are you good at? How can your interests and skills be used in a future STEAM career?

    1. What kinds of jobs are needed to support the operation of an observatory, so that science and discovery is made possible?

    2. What is your idea for a future career?

    3. What will a typical day be like in this future career? What kinds of things will you have to do?

  5. At this point you may provide some time for students to research possible careers.
  6. Provide students with the template for filling out a personal trading card. This may be a printed blank paper or a digital version. Allot some time for them to create a draft version.

  7. When students are creating their own trading card, they may need some help with thinking through their inspirational quote. Ask them to reflect on times when they successfully overcame an obstacle/crisis, learned a new skill, solved a problem, or took on a challenge. What advice might they offer? What attitudes or actions were needed? What would you say to someone who was trying to work through the same thing?

  8. (Optional) Students may discuss their draft trading cards in a group to receive and offer feedback.

Suggestions for using the cards after they have been created

  1. Display them in your classroom for an Open House or Back to School Night. Alternatively: create a digital gallery of cards that have been uploaded to your LMS or Google Drive.

  2. Use this as a “getting to know you” activity for students.

  3. Share cards on social media using the hashtag "#MyRubinVoice".

  4. Share with Rubin Observatory. You may be featured as a Rubin Voices Trading Card! You must agree to the terms and conditions of use (which includes online use on websites and social media) when submitting the trading card. Parental permission is required for students under 18.

  5. Students can interview or read about a person who has a job similar to their future job. What do they like about it? What are its challenges? What preparation or skills are needed?

Technical Notes

Guidelines for file types and sizes

.jpg is the best format for images. An image size of 100 x 100 pixels is optimal.

Free pdf readers
Free tools available for resizing images
  • Mac: Use Preview. Go to the Tools option in the top menu bar, then choose Adjust size.

  • PC: Open the image you want to resize using the Photos app. Click the ellipsis button on the menu bar at the top, then click Resize.

  • Chromebook: Open a photo or video with the Camera app. At the top, select Rescale.

  • Online: Open PixlrE and open your image. Under the page menu, select Smart resize.