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Thread: New Member seeking to create a course in astronomy

  1. #1
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    New Member seeking to create a course in astronomy

    Hi Guys

    I have always had an greater interest in astronomy
    With all the interest in planet missions (mars and others) and the
    successes of Hubble I want to create a course for kids
    in Astronomy

    Any help would be appreciated.
    I would like to st up a survey but one I placed
    recently backed by googles ppc was not much use
    (I only got 1 word answers)

    Any suggestions would be welcome

    thanks
    arthur

  2. #2
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    Re: New Member seeking to create a course in astronomy

    When you say a course, what kind of course? Is this a part of a school curriculum?

    I think kids should learn about the sky a little more. Space for kids is all about planets, even the ones they can't see. Understanding how the sky works can be very useful for things like direction finding.

    Also it helps make astronomy more real. It is sad how few people know you can see planets with the naked eye. It happens because they learn about planets but it's all very abstract. No connection is made between these Voyager images and what we can see here.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiefame99 View Post
    Hi Guys

    I have always had an greater interest in astronomy
    With all the interest in planet missions (mars and others) and the
    successes of Hubble I want to create a course for kids
    in Astronomy

    Any help would be appreciated.
    I would like to st up a survey but one I placed
    recently backed by googles ppc was not much use
    (I only got 1 word answers)

    Any suggestions would be welcome

    thanks
    arthur
    I would suggest browsing in a large public library in the Dewey Decimal range of 520-523, which is where astronomy books are found on the shelf. Look for books written at a level suitable for children, and decide after reading them what you think you could offer that might be better.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I would suggest browsing in a large public library in the Dewey Decimal range of 520-523, which is where astronomy books are found on the shelf. Look for books written at a level suitable for children, and decide after reading them what you think you could offer that might be better.
    Or you could try our subforum on Astronomy Education, which is where I've moved this thread. Let's see what other suggestions you get.
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  5. #5
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    A great Idea!
    Going back quite a few years, I took my Son and his young friend [both then about 10 or 11 years old] to the Sydney Observatory.
    There they took the kids [around 40 of them] through some basic Astronomy and then as night fell, showed them the prominent stars and planets through their 'scopes.
    By this stage the parents had gone home leaving the kids to sleep in their sleeping bags at the Observatory and giving them a sausage sizzle early next morning.
    Probably not exactly what you are envisaging but still a great experience for the young brigade.

    Maybe if you have a 'scope of your own, you could start something similar for your local neigbourhood and the kids.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”
    ― Carl Sagan

  6. #6
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    Its hard to know how best to advise you without knowing specifically what age group you are dealing with. However, when I imagine teaching kids astronomy, I think about four distinct ideas:

    1. Things in the sky vary in appearance and predicatably change position.
    2. Astronomers infer the characteristics of distant objects by carefully studying the light they emit or reflect
    3. The processes that shape planetary and moon surfaces are the same as on Earth: volcanoes, erosion, and cratering
    4. Stars shine by fusing lighter atoms into heavier atoms that eventually get combined into other stars, planets, moons, rocks, people, and plants
    5. We know that the Universe evolves over time by watching the motions and positions of galaxies.

    For the younger kids, I spend more time on the first three items, because there are lots of outdoor things one can do and one can emphasize recent NASA missions to planets.


    Tim Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research

  7. #7
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    I've found when dealing with young children, the more actively involved you can get them in the content you're trying to convey to them, the better. We've done a few activities at on-site outreach events, the most recent being at AAS221 where we filled a pie tin with flour with cocoa powder ontop of it. We then had the students drop marbles down into the pie tin to see what happens with a meteor impact on the surface of a rocky world. It's always a fun way to get them involved, they get to make a mess, and then we get to sneak some science on them too!

    We're currently developing a lot of educator resources at CosmoQuest which can be found here. We're still developing even more and waiting to hear back from NASA on a few other opportunities as well!

    Thanks for your interest and let me say that I'm personally very happy that you're looking at finding new and exciting ways of getting the younger generations involved in learning the cosmos that they're a part of!


    best,
    Scott
    (KnowTheCosmos)

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