Improving the Astronomy in Schools

Content and Pedagogy Topics

     To Teach The Stars events are customized to your needs!  Whether your only have an hour or a two-day annual get-together, we will plan out a series of activities, to fill the time and the needs of your faculty or students.

      Below are a set of well-received and popular exercises we've done at past workshops.  While the details are necessarily brief, you should note that there is a mix of topics and pedagogy in each activity. 

      Following those are other suggested topics we can easily put into your particular program!  You are not limited to the items we show here!


Causes and Phases of the Moon--banishing misconceptions in the Sunlight.

Let's Bomb The Moon - Use photos to analyze crater characteristics, do basic statistics (gasp!), create a schema, then we do an inquiry experimental setup to try and recreate the forms!



In a planetarium or under an evening sky, our map and sky training brings in knowledge of astrophysics, cultural myths, coordinates and constellations, and more, all with a heavy dose of humor!

It may look like chaos but a human orrery in a large space can teach about Kepler's Laws, graphing, the best and worst times to find planets, and -- horrors!--horoscopes!

What if Copernicus and Ptolemy played Ping Pong? -- The Nature of Science--hypothesis, testing, supporting--is the real name of this game.


We connect astronomy, physics, chemistry,  and environmental science (Whew!) by looking at indoor and outdoor lighting and atomic structure.


Biology Connections -- Using common advertising knowledge and gas tubes, this activity shows how to connect biochemistry, geology and stellar astrophysics to show how you may be under 100 years old but most of your body parts aren't!  Another connection uses a plain ol' light bulb to find out why you see the way you do.




Modeling Hypotheses shows how to unteach misconceptions on the cause of seasons.

Like the Universe, what we can present is vast!  What's your need?

PHYSICS

Newton’s Laws and the Orbits and “Weights” of Planets

Spectroscopy Without Emission Gas Tubes

THE SUN

Safe Observing, Sunspots, Solar Effects on Earth - Magnetometers, Sun Size – A Primer in Measuring

STARS

Star Distances and Lives of the Stars

The H-R diagram- A jigsaw pedagogical technique to learning astrophysics

The Speed of Light and Supernovae

Astrobiology – Life on Other Worlds (includes chemistry, too)

Three Pieces of Data Tell Us Everything

CONSTELLATIONS

Current Night Sky (we can do it real or simulated)

Sky Maps and Body Angles

A UNIT REPRODUCING HISTORY

Reproducing Eratosthenes and the Size of the Earth

Ptolemy versus Copernicus - Supporting Hypotheses

What is the Size of the Moon?

Galileo's Evidence - Observing Sunspots, Moon Mountain Sizes, Venus

Kepler Nails Down How the Solar System Works

Newton Adds Mass

PEDAGOGICAL INSIGHTS

Science is Tentative

Reasoning Skill processes

The Errors in Your Textbook

Inquiry Investigations in Astronomy

Techniques:
-- Think-Pair-Share and “clickers”
-- Bloom Taxonomy, a way to improve inquiry questions
-- Using Movies  
-- Tutorials in Astronomy, and things that rank

PEDAGOGICAL TEACH-NIQUES

Turning Misconceptions into Inquiry Labs,

Graphing for Information

Using Your Cell Phone in Astronomy Observations 

The Multiple Scientific Methods 

Classification 

Boo! The Scary Stuff--Statistics!

Errors Can Be Corrected--Randomly and Systematically

STANDARDS AND ASTRONOMY


How to Create, Insert, and Run Astronomy Courses in Your School (MS and HS)

Next Generation Science Standards in Astronomy - What to Do with Them

How to Use Astronomy to Improve School Scores!

MISCELLANEOUS

How to Use a Telescope, Day or Night

Previous Page   Tour our site and see what we do!    Next Page

Why Teach Astronomy?   > Topics > Testimonials & Past Workshops > Who Is Dr. K? Setting Up Workshops -- Get a Brochure