Astronomy Homepage 2007 - 2008

Course Overview Documents

SHS Astronomy Overview
Three-ring Binder Information
Alternate Grade Scale for Labs/Projects (html)
Personal Introduction Essay (doc)

Group Work Defined

Working in small groups to solve problems is a great way to learn science. Here are a few documents to give group work some shape and definition so that it can be a self-regulating learning tool:

Group Work Information
Group Work Evaluation Form
Group Work Presenter Grading Form

Assignments listed in roughly chronological order:

Note about “Challenge Questions”: These questions will be counted as an additional homework assignment but are not required. They are offered as an extra challenge for those interested in learning more than the minimum. I recommend doing as many of them as you can since more assignments means that each assignment is weighted less.

First Quarter

Week of 9/4/07 - 9/7/07, 1st Week
Watched “Powers of Ten” video via Google Video
Read Ch. 1 of the text in class
Homework: Answer Review Questions 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10
Challenge Questions: Problems 1, 2, 4, and 5
These questions and problems will be checked off on Friday, 9/7 but we will discuss the answers next week.

Friday: First computer lab day
Web Assignment: Prove that the Earth is Round (html)

Week of 9/10/07 - 9/14/07, 2nd Week
Introduction to the Planisphere, Part I started on Tu 9/11
The Motions of the Sun due Th 9/20. We worked on this assignment in the computer lab on F 9/14, M 9/17, Tu 9/18, and F 9/21. We held a discussion of important information on Th 9/20.
It is due M 9/24.

Week of 9/17/07 - 9/21/07, 3rd Week
As noted above, we worked on The Motions of the Sun all week

Week of 9/24/07 - 9/28/07, 4th Week
Tu 9/25, W 9/26 and Th 9/27: Complete work on Introduction to the Planisphere, Part I

Week of 10/1/07 - 10/5/07, 5th Week
On M 10/1 the class made their own planisphere
Work on Planisphere, Part II this will be completed next week in class

Week of 10/9/07 - 10/12/07, 6th Week
The Size of the Sun students measure the diameter of the sun using household materials. We will do this on the next sunny day when class is held.

Week of 10/15/07 - 10/19/07, 7th Week
Project: Motions of the Moon Students explore the phases and motions of the Moon in depth. This project will take all of this week and probably part of next week.

10/22/07 - 11/2/07, 8th and 9th Weeks
While I am out on paternity leave you will do a research project:
Space Exploration Missions First draft due Nov 2nd. Final draft due date TBA.

Second Quarter

Week of 11/5/07 - 11/9/07, 10th Week
Project: Motions of the Moon Students explore the phases and motions of the Moon in depth. This project will be taken up again after a two-week break due to my paternity leave. Tentative due date: Fri Nov 9th

Week of 11/12/07 - 11/16/07, 11th Week
Complete the Project: Motions of the Moon on Tu 11/13.
Test on that material on Th Nov 15th.
Start work on The Size of the Solar System on F Nov 16th; homework portion due M Nov 19th.
Final Draft of the Space Exploration Paper is due F Dec 14th

During the last two weeks of class we will do two activities found at We will do Mapping the Surface of a Planet and Finding Spirit.

We will finish the course with two days of review before the comprehensive final exam.

A few useful links

A fully-functional scientific calculator including a table of useful constants.
A Partial Bibliography of works consulted
And here’s a useful download: a program that will quickly and easily convert units for you. Download and unzip to use.

Teachers and other Professionals:

This material is copyrighted but I grant permission for in-classroom use. Please give the URL and not copies to other teachers. Only pages directly downloaded may be used, do not distribute paper copies. Requirement for use: send me an email and give me feedback on your success with these materials.
a k e l l e r  [at] scarborough . k12 . me . us
You will have to remove the spaces to use this address.

Important note regarding printing

Before printing turn off the optional header and footer information. Also, make the left margin 0.75 in (1.9 cm) and the other margins 0.5 in (1.3 cm) so that the page breaks I built into the pages work as intended.

Some of the files are PDFs and you need the Acrobat Reader available from Adobe. Some files are also MS Word 97 or RTF documents, which just about anyone should be able to view. If you have trouble, try going to to download the Word Viewer.