Key questions

Name of Activity

Time needed

Key Topics

Std

Varies

Stardate daily sky update

Ongoing

Varies

 

  • What do students know about Astronomy?
  • What do students want to know about Astronomy?

* Brainstorm: KWL

35 min

Informational

5a, 5b, 5c

What is the relative distance from the sun to each of the planets?

*Solar System bead activity

60 min

Scale of Solar System

5a, 5b

  • How big is the moon (and Mars)?
  • How far are they relative to Earth?

Earth, Moon, Mars Balloons

25 min+

Scale of Solar System

5b

What is the relative distance from the sun to each of the planets?

*The Thousand-Yard Model: The Earth as a Peppercorn (UAYF D-7)

60 min+

Scale of Solar System

5a, 5b

What do students understand about the phases of the moon?

*Moon phases: Predicting phases and features (UAYF A-1; chart on pg. 6, section A is a great reference)

45 min

Moon phases

5b

What will students notice after observing the moon for a full lunar cycle?

*Observing phases and features (UAYF A-2)

Ongoing

Moon phases

5b

How can a model of the lunar cycle be demonstrated?

*Modeling moon phases (UAYF A-3)

35 min

Moon phases

5b

What is a lunar (and solar) eclipse?

*Modeling eclipses (UAYF A-4) ANIMATION

35 min

Lunar and solar eclipses

5b

How does the size and speed of objects affect the way that craters are formed?

Experimenting with craters (UAYF E-1) IMAGES

50 min

Cratering

5b

What are key differences between the planets?

*Eyewitness video ìThe Planetsî

(UAYF- pg. 6, section C is a helpful comparison chart) TO DO DURING/POST VIDEO

45 min

Overview of planets

5b

How does a planetsí size affect itís gravitational pull?

*The Earthís Shape and Gravity (UAYF C-1)

50 min

Gravity

5c

How can you make the difference between a star and a planet in the sky?

*Observing a planet (UAYF C-4)

50 min

Planets in the sky

5b

  • What is in the sky tonight?
  • How does it change over time?

*Extend lunar observations to sky observations with sketches

Ongoing

Night sky

5b

  • What makes each planet unique?
  • How are planets similar?

*Planet Picking (C-9)

120 min+

Planet differences

5b

  • What are key features of each planet?
  • What are the planetsí differences?

*Planetary Ambasadors

2 days

Planet differences

5b

What are the key features of your planet?

 

*Planetary Travel

(Extension)

Alternative with a focus on Mars

3+ days

Details of one planet

5b

What does it mean when we say that a Martian day is different than an Earth day?

*Mars Calendar (can be adapted to other planets)

90 min

Mars

 

How are Marsí Rovers designed?

Edible Mars Spacecraft

45 min

Mars

5b

What are the processes of planetary exploration?

Strange New Planet

90 min

Mars

5b

Is there water on Mars?

Is There Water on Mars?

45 min

Mars

 

  • Where does the sun rise and set?
  • Does the location of the sun change daily? Weekly? Monthly?

*Solar observing

Ongoing

sun

5a

        How can we use the sun to tell time?

        What is local noon?

*Making a sun clock (or UAYF B-7)

45 min

sun

5a

What is the diameter of the sun?

*Diameter of the sun new copy

45 min

sun

5a

How does our sun compare with other stars?

Compare the Size of Stars (UAYF G-1) QuickTime Lifecycle

45 min

stars

5a

  • Are there different kinds of stars?
  • How does our sun compare to other stars?

Sizes of stars

90 min

stars

5a

  • What is a galaxy?
  • How are galaxies classified?

Classifying Galaxies (need computer access)

45 min+

Galaxies

5a

What is the size of our galaxy? The universe?

How many stars? (UAYF H-3)

45 min

Galaxies and the universe

5a

  • Does the universe have a center?
  • What does it mean that the ìuniverse is expandingî?

A ballooning Universe (UAYF H-4)

(raisin bread model)

45 min

Cosmology

 

What makes a planet habitable?

AstroVenture- Design your own planet online

5 days

 

Life on other planets

 

 

 

Date Suggested

Name of Event

Activity Link

Image/ quicktime videos

CHALLENGER

Comets

 

 

Sept

Planetary Poster

yes

 

Sep ??

Cosmos 1 Volna Launch (Solar Sail Mission)

 

 

Sep 21

Autumnal Equinox, 04:48 UT

yes

 

Oct 04-10

Space Week

 

 

Oct 06

STS-113 Launch, Space Shuttle Endeavour, Space Station Assembly Mission 11A

 

 

Oct 21

Orionids Meteor Shower Peak

 

 

Oct 27

Daylight Saving - Set Clock Back 1 Hour (North America, Europe)

 

 

Oct. 31

Trick or Treating Under the Stars -- With Halloween just around the corner millions of kids will be outdoors after dark on October 31st. Don't let your students venture out unprepared. Armed with a basic knowledge of the Fall sky, they'll enjoy trick-or-treating more than ever!

yes

 

Nov 19

Leonids Meteor Shower Peak (Potential Meteor Storm)

A list of meteor showers for the year

yes

 

Nov 20

Lunar Eclipse

 

 

Nov 24

MUSES-C MV Launch (Japan Asteroid Sample Return Mission)

 

 

Dec 01

SORCE Pegasus XL Launch

 

 

Dec 04

Solar Eclipse (Visible From Southern Africa)

yes

 

Dec 09

STARDUST, End of 2nd Interstellar Dust Collection

 

 

Dec 22

Winter Solstice, 01:01 UT

 

 

Jan 12

Rosetta Ariane 5 Launch (Comet Orbiter & Lander)

 

 

Feb

Saturn, Jupiter study and observation. Both in the sky and observational thru April 2003

 

 

Mar 21

Vernal Equinox, 00:52 UT

 

 

Apr 1

April Foolís: The Great Moon Hoax

yes

 

Apr

Mercury at best observational position. This yearís planetary lineup will include only Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter as Venus and Mars will be on the ìmorningî side of the sun.

 

 

May 16

Lunar Eclipse

 

 

May 30

Mars Exploration Rover A Delta 2 Launch (Arrival January 2004)

yes

 

Jun 21

Summer Solstice (18:59 UT)

 

 

Jun 25

Mars Exploration Rover B Delta 2 Launch

 

 

 

Possible Connections to Earth Science Curriculum

Unit

Name of Connection

Activity Link

Image/ quicktime videos

Weather

aurora

 

images/

Weather

Weathering on Mars

 

 

Plate tectonics

Rock cycle on other planets