Astronomy Homepage Spring 2007 - 2008

Course Overview Documents

SHS Astronomy Overview
Alternate Grade Scale for Labs/Projects (html)
Personal Introduction Essay (doc)

Assignments listed in chronological order:

Third Quarter

Week of 1/28/08 - 2/1/08, 1st Week
Watched “Powers of Ten” video via Google Video Write a brief reaction paper to describe what you learned from this video. What was the take-home message?
Due this week: your own Personal Introduction Essay
This week we also built a homemade planisphere for use in predicting the constellations that are visible in the night sky.

Week of 2/4/08 - 2/8/08, 2nd Week
This week we will work on learning to use the Planisphere and equivalent tools on the internet.
Questions about Sky Motion: An assignment to read a packet and use your planisphere to answer some questions.
Web Assignment: Sky View Café: we will spend time in the computer lab to work on this. The assignment uses an amazing online tool called the Sky View Café
The above assignment is aided by a general reference sheet on the constellations available here.

Week of 2/11/08 - 2/15/08, 3rd Week
Questions about the Stars: a continuation of the set of questions begun last week about the Edmund Sky Guide. These questions concern a bit more about the motions of the sky and a little about the stars.
There will be a quiz on the material covered so far by the end of the week.

Weekly listing of assignments was temporarily suspended. Up to and including the week of 3/17/08 - 3/21/08 we covered the following:

Questions about the Stars 2: covering stellar magnitudes and spectral types
We had a quiz over this material on Wed, 3/19/08.
Introduction to the Seasons: an activity with a few questions to introduce students to some of the key issues in understanding the cause of the seasons and the apparent motions of the Sun.

Week of 3/24/08 - 3/28/08, 7th Week
We will begin working on the materials about the seasons found at the Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project site titled Basic Coordinates and Seasons Module. Download and work through the Basic Coordinates and Seasons Student Guide if working at home. The material covers the basics of latitude and longitude, right acension and declination and the basics of why we have seasons on Earth.

Week of 3/31/08 - 4/4/08, 8th Week
This week we will wrap up our work on the seasons with the following activity:
Questions: Motions of the Sun
At the end of the week, during the last hour of the third quarter, we will have a quiz on the seasons.

Fourth Quarter

Week of 4/7/08 - 4/11/08, 9th Week
This week we begin our study of the phases of the Moon with this activity:
Phases of the Moon

Week of 4/14/08 - 4/17/08, 10th Week
We continue our study of the Moon with this activity:
Moon Phases and Rise and Set Times
We will further our study of the Moon using the NAAP Moon Simulator and these questions:
Moon Phases with Simulator

Week of 4/28/08 - 5/2/08, 11th Week
We will end our study of the Moon by summarizing what we have learned in a class discussion.
After this discussion students will make posters to display all that they have learned about the Moon and the Phases of the Moon. The poster is due Tues May 6th
On Thurs May 8th there will be a quiz on the Phases of the Moon.

Week of 5/5/08 - 5/9/08, 12th Week
We meet three times this week.
On Tues, May 6th we went over the Moon information one more time as a review for the test on Thurs. We also talked for a while about the Solar System and discussed what students want to know about it.
Thursday was the quiz.
On Friday we starting working on the activity: The Size of the Solar System. This activity should require several hours of class time to complete.

Week of 5/12/08 - 5/16/08, 13th Week
Comleted the The Size of the Solar System
Began work on the Sky View Café Planets activity

A few useful links

An excellent online application to enable users to see the sky from any location on Earth at any time or date:
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.