Universe Cycle - Universe (6)
Post Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Researching current information on the Universe.
  • Exploring careers in astronomy and other space sciences.
VOCABULARY:
  • astronomer
  • astronomy
  • planet
  • Solar System
  • space
  • Universe
MATERIALS:
  • books on astronomy
  • Internet

Students use the Internet to update data on the Universe


The Milky Way - the nucleus of the galaxy is blocked by dust

BACKGROUND:

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.

PROCEDURE:
  1. 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.
      
  2. 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
      
  3. 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.
      
    http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/Anim.html 
    Animations of planets and galaxies. The home page for this site contains links to many, many Hubble Space Telescope pictures.
      
    http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/gr/public/ 
    Cambridge Relativity of Cambridge University. Discusses Cosmology, Black Holes, Inflation, Cosmic stings, and more. Good illustrations and graphics.
     
    http://windows.ivv.nasa.gov/
    Windows to the Universe from NASA - a comprehensive educational website for planetary science and astronomy.
      
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/stars/
    Star Journey - a National Geographic site which includes star charts of the night time sky.

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