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Students will read and discuss various texts and current scientific journals, write essays depicting their opinions on certain astronomical/cosmological topics, conduct calculations and computations using calculators and computers, manipulate data in order to make comparisons/contrasts, and obtain hands-on experiences by visiting science museums/planetariums. The approach for this curriculum is interdisciplinary, combining science and mathematics. Therefore, a science and a math teacher at a school can combine their efforts for the topic of astronomy. The math teacher and science teacher can together teach the students calculations, conversions, measurements, scientific notation.
Some questions that can be answered from this curriculum are: What is the composition of our Universe? How was our Universe formed? When was our Universe formed? What is the International Space Station? Is there a possibility of intelligent life on other planets? In order to answer the above questions, the students need to understand that the scientific method plays a vital role. Therefore, one intended outcome for this curriculum is to enable students to demonstrate and interpret steps used to attain solutions/approaches for scientific problems/questions. Overall, this unit emphasizes problem solving, higher level thinking skills, applications of scientific method, and scientific/mathematical calculations and computations in order to understand more about astronomy.
(Recommended for Earth and Space Science, grades 7-8)