Most activities are PDF files.
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Textbook and activity resources
- TEA form for reimbursment for purchasing astronomy books (.DOC file)
- Activities that use REAL data, a NASA listing
- Chris Impey's on-line textbook from University of Arizona, with many multi-media resources
- Nick Strobel's Astronomy Notes - an entire course on-line with many links to resources
- Project STAR 2001 edition of high school astronomy textbook
- Investigating Astronomy 2010 high school astronomy textbook (desiged to meet Texas standards)
- Survey of Introductory Astronomy Textbooks for non-science majors, from AER
- Survey of Introductory Astrophysics Textbooks for college-level astronomy majors, from AER
- Interactive Astronomy Textbook article from AER
- Annotated Listing of Astronomy Apps for phones and tablets.
- Compadre website: NSF funded resource list for Astronomy includes many activities, PowerPoints, etc. Registration (free) is required.
- Astronomy Stars teaching and outreach suggestions from around the world at this South Africa website
- European Hands-on Universe activites for schools from webcam astronomy to the circumferance of Earth - a wide assortment of exercises
- Polaris Project Free on-line courses that include activities.
- Galileo's Classroom
- NASA central resource for educators. (New, November 2012)
Classroom materials assembled for the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP)
in celebration of the United Nation's International Year of Astronomy
by Stephanie J. Slater, Janelle M. Bailey and Michael Gibbs, Editors
- Projects that use real NASA data
- Resources from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use. Examples of OER include: full courses,
course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources
contained in digital media collections from around the world.
Open Educational Resouces
- Online Astronomy Resources (.DOC) from Sherre Boothman
High School Course outline
College Course outlines
Remote Telescopes and Data Reduction
Programs for High School Teachers and Students
Activities and resources related to Astronomy TEKS
- website with suggestions from research programs to citizen science.
4. Science concepts. The student recognizes the importance and uses of astronomy in civilization. The student is expected to:
(A) research and describe the use of astronomy in ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Europeans, and the native Americans;
(B) research and describe the contributions of scientists to our changing understanding of astronomy, including Ptolemy, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and Hubble, and the contribution of women astronomers, including Maria Mitchell and Henrietta Swan Leavitt;
(C) describe and explain the historical origins of the perceived patterns of constellations and the role of constellations in ancient and modern navigation; and
(D) explain the contributions of modern astronomy to today's society, including the identification of potential asteroid/comet impact hazards and the Sun's effects on communication, navigation, and high-tech devices.
5. Science concepts. The student develops a familiarity with the sky. The student is expected to:
(A) observe and record the apparent movement of the Sun and Moon during the day;
(B) observe and record the apparent movement of the Moon, planets, and stars in the nighttime sky; and
(C) recognize and identify constellations such as Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Orion, Cassiopeia, and constellations of the zodiac.
6. Science concepts. The student knows our place in space. The student is expected to:
(A) compare and contrast the scale, size, and distance of the Sun, Earth, and Moon system through the use of data and modeling;
(B) compare and contrast the scale, size, and distance of objects in the solar system such as the Sun and planets through the use of data and modeling;
(C) examine the scale, size, and distance of the stars, Milky Way, and other galaxies through the use of data and modeling;
(D) relate apparent versus absolute magnitude to the distances of celestial objects; and
(E) demonstrate the use of units of measurement in astronomy, including Astronomical Units and light years.
7. (7) Science concepts. The student knows the role of the Moon in the Sun, Earth, and Moon system. The student is expected to:
(A) observe and record data about lunar phases and use that information to model the Sun, Earth, and Moon system;
(B) illustrate the cause of lunar phases by showing positions of the Moon relative to Earth and the Sun for each phase, including new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent;
(C) identify and differentiate the causes of lunar and solar eclipses, including differentiating between lunar phases and eclipses; and
(D) identify the effects of the Moon on tides.
- Observing the Moon activity (.pdf)
- Simulated Phases of the Moon If you can't go outside and get your own data, use this (.ppt) file from the excellent GEMS guide Earth, Moon and Stars. Students should draw the shape on
a piece of paper, measure the angle of separation from the image of the sun to the image of the moon from their position in the room, and record their data. Real observations are better (since students have ownership
of their data, but this is a substitute. Always do observations prior to modeling the phases with balls and lights.
- The Moon resource list from Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- Moon (.ppt file)
8. Science concepts. The student knows the reasons for the seasons. The student is expected to:
(A) recognize that seasons are caused by the tilt of Earth's axis;
(B) explain how latitudinal position affects the length of day and night throughout the year;
(C) recognize that the angle of incidence of sunlight determines the concentration of solar energy received on Earth at a particular location; and
(D) examine the relationship of the seasons to equinoxes, solstices, the tropics, and the equator.
9. Science concepts. The student knows that planets of different size, composition, and surface features orbit around the Sun. The student is expected to:
(A) compare and contrast the factors essential to life on Earth such as temperature, water, mass, and gases to conditions on other planets;
(B) compare the planets in terms of orbit, size, composition, rotation, atmosphere, natural satellites, and geological activity;
(C) relate the role of Newton's law of universal gravitation to the motion of the planets around the Sun and to the motion of natural and artificial satellites around the planets; and
(D) explore the origins and significance of small solar system bodies, including asteroids, comets, and Kuiper belt objects.
10. Science concepts. The student knows the role of the Sun as the star in our solar system. The student is expected to:
(A) identify the approximate mass, size, motion, temperature, structure, and composition of the Sun;
(B) distinguish between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission, and identify the source of energy within the Sun as nuclear fusion of hydrogen to helium;
(C) describe the eleven-year solar cycle and the significance of sunspots; and
(D) analyze solar magnetic storm activity, including coronal mass ejections, prominences, flares, and sunspots.
11. Science concepts. The student knows the characteristics and life cycle of stars. The student is expected to:
(A) identify the characteristics of main sequence stars, including surface temperature, age, relative size, and composition;
(B) characterize star formation in stellar nurseries from giant molecular clouds, to protostars, to the development of main sequence stars;
(C) evaluate the relationship between mass and fusion on the dying process and properties of stars;
(D) differentiate among the end states of stars, including white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes;
(E) compare how the mass and gravity of a main sequence star will determine its end state as a white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole;
(F) relate the use of spectroscopy in obtaining physical data on celestial objects such as temperature, chemical composition, and relative motion; and
(G) use the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram to plot and examine the life cycle of stars from birth to death.
- Colors of Stars activity
- Spectroscopy activities including H-R diagram
- Lives of Stars activity (link is on lower part of this page)
- Interview with a White Dwarf (activity components) - similar to Lives of Stars, but more math
- Black Holes activity
- Properties of White Dwarfs (activity components)
- Molecular Cores to Stars (activity components)
12. Science concepts. The student knows the variety and properties of galaxies. The student is expected to:
(A) describe characteristics of galaxies;
(B) recognize the type, structure, and components of our Milky Way galaxy and location of our solar system within it; and
(C) compare and contrast the different types of galaxies, including spiral, elliptical, irregular, and dwarf.
- Milky Way activity
- Coma Cluster of Galaxies activity
- Galaxies activity components on this page include links to
- Galaxy Classification Activity
- Multi-wavelength astronomy activity
- Galaxy cards
- Lives of Stars activity
- The Galaxies and Cosmos Explorer Tool
- Age of the Milky Way (activity components)
13. Science concepts. The student knows the scientific theories of cosmology. The student is expected to:
(A) research and describe the historical development of the Big Bang Theory, including red shift, cosmic microwave background radiation, and other supporting evidence;
(B) research and describe current theories of the evolution of the universe, including estimates for the age of the universe; and
(C) research and describe scientific hypotheses of the fate of the universe, including open and closed universes and the role of dark matter and dark energy.
14. (14) Science concepts. The student recognizes the benefits and challenges of space exploration to the study of the universe. The student is expected to:
(A) identify and explain the contributions of human space flight and future plans and challenges;
(B) recognize the advancement of knowledge in astronomy through robotic space flight;
(C) analyze the importance of ground-based technology in astronomical studies;
(D) recognize the importance of space telescopes to the collection of astronomical data across the electromagnetic spectrum; and
(E) demonstrate an awareness of new developments and discoveries in astronomy.
This webpage was established for distribution at a meeting of the Science Teachers Association of Texas. Assisting with the contributions to this page and to
the workshop given at the meeting on 6 November 2009 in Galveston, Texas
were science teachers Sherre Boothman, Jody Harkrider, and David Temple.
Assisting in 2010 were Jody Harkrider, Kirby Junge, and Kathy Ivey Wilson. Assisting in 2011 at the Dallas CAST
were Keely Finkelstein, Kelley Janes, Delia Posey, and Kathy Ivey Wilson. Assisting in 2012 at the Corpus Christi CAST
were Natasha Cox, Karen Green, Jody Harkrider,and Delie Posey. This is the 2012 presentation in .pdf format.