What is a star and what shape is it? Students explore both artistic and scientific representations of stars, learn that stars are like the sun but much further away and make their own star hat.
Street lights of the same type will look brighter when they are close to you, and less bright when they are farther away. The same applies to astronomical objects: a given star will look brighter to a nearby observer than to an observer far away. In both cases, the difference in brightness can be used to deduce the relative distances of suitable objects. Standard candles, objects of constant intrinsic brightness or whose intrinsic brightness can be determined by careful measurements, are a key tool for astronomical distance determination. In this exploration, you will explore standard candles (and also effects that complicate distance measurements) in a simple everyday setting, namely that of street lights, using a digital camera and freely available software.
Students build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, exploring how the Moon revolves around the Earth, and the Earth around the Sun. Students play a memory game and learn some characteristics about the three objects.
Watch shadows during the course of the day to explore the influence of the Sun’s position in the sky on them, as well as how they change over the seasons. During the next season, repeat the experiment and note the changes from the previous season. Repeat over a period of one year for each season.
In this activity, students discuss the notion of time and how time can be measured. They build an hourglass to measure time and test it. This activity will allow students to have a better understanding of time and the instruments that can be used to measure it.
Students investigate three-dimensional objects. They compare what constellations look like when seen from different angles. They make a model of a constellation and look at it from different sides to discover that the relative position of the stars changes depending on our perspective. They understand that stars are not located on the same plane and or the same distance.