Astronomy: Our World in Space

Class # 57   Grades: 6- 7- 8

Class Overview

Have you ever observed the dark night sky from a location far from city lights? It is a sight that inspires wonder, fascination, and curiosity. It reminds us that we are a tiny part of a vast universe, a universe that becomes more wonderful and fascinating with each new discovery. Human curiosity combined with scientific inquiry has led to a fascinating, mind expanding, and changing view of the earth and its place in the universe. Did you know that over 2200 years ago a Greek librarian accurately measured the size of the Earth? After that the Greeks were able to measure the size of the moon and its distance from Earth. And then they figured out how far away and how big the sun was! We can make similar observations and rediscover these measurements!

This SA course is for curious students who want to know more about our world in space. We will view sunspots on the surface of the sun; make daily observations of the moon and the path of the sun across the sky; create earth models that will allow us to visualize the way our planet looks as viewed from space (locations receiving direct sunlight, night and day); create a scale model solar system and take an imaginary journey through it on our way to the Jackson Middle School observatory and classroom). We will look through different types of telescopes and figure out how (and how much) they magnify. Stephen Hawking will challenge us to think like a genius as we consider the possibility of time travel.

SA will provide a bus for the entire family to attend an evening STAR PARTY at the Minnesota Astronomical Society (MAS) Eagle Lake Observatory at Baylor Regional Park. This is one of the best public observatories in the United States!
Join us as we imagine & investigate, compare & contrast, explore & explain the mysteries of our space environment.


Jeff Bullard

Jeff Bullard, a returning Summer Academy teacher, is from Enid, Oklahoma, where he taught Junior High Earth Science until 1993 when he moved to Minnesota. Since then Jeff has taught chemistry, math, and earth and space science at Fridley High School.


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