The exploration of space can be a new adventure for
students. Space and all its wonders can still amaze even the most
disinterested child. Remember that astronomy, the study of outer space, is a
field that changes rapidly. With each new space probe we learn information
that may change the existing data. As a teacher, you cannot always give your
students all the knowledge, but you can show them where to get more
information. Learning to discover how to find information is very important
in science, especially in fields like astronomy that change rapidly.
Astronomy, unlike many other fields, will change with
each new mission. Students should become accustomed to looking at the dates
of the publication in books. Information prior to certain missions,
especially prior to 1990, should be verified.
- Provide several books on astronomy for your students to examine. If
you have enough books you might ask the students to find the book that
is the most readable, the most informative, or has the best graphics.
Have them also check the publication dates, and make sure they
understand the importance of up to date information.
- You may also want to discuss the types of careers available in
astronomy. Astronomers are scientists that study different parts of
space. Astronauts are people who go into space. People with different
professions such as pilots, doctors, geologists, or teachers, that go
into space are still "astronauts." Astrogeologists are
geologists that study different planets. Mathematicians and physicists
also develop models for space. Defense workers also are interested in
space, especially working with satellites that can help detect enemy
attacks. Space is still a new frontier
- This is a good lesson in which to update your students on any new
advances that may have occurred from the previous year. Newspaper
articles or magazines can help provide up-to-date information. Students
can check the websites listed below to see if anything new has occurred
since last year. You should also have students do a search on one of the
Internet search engines.
Animations of planets and galaxies. The home page for this site contains
links to many, many Hubble Space Telescope pictures.
Cambridge Relativity of Cambridge University. Discusses Cosmology, Black
Holes, Inflation, Cosmic stings, and more. Good illustrations and
Windows to the Universe from NASA - a comprehensive educational website
for planetary science and astronomy.
Star Journey - a National Geographic site which includes star charts
of the night time sky.