Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Catching Up & Galaxies

A lot went on this fall.  My school had an accreditation visit. There are some departmental issues as well. All on top of the day-to-day things that go on in schools.  It made for an extremely busy semester.

I am going to spend some time this holiday to reflect on the big or new lessons and activities I did this fall.

We did a couple of things with galaxies. Copies of my lessons can be found here.

The first investigation we did was Classifying Galaxies.  I modified a NASA lesson (updated photographs, students sheet) to have students first develop a classification system for 15 galaxies, and then use the Hubble Tuning Fork for a more official classification. Finally, students compared the two systems.

My students were fascinated by the photos.  I printed and laminated a class set of color photos.  I have a Scotch thermal laminator for my personal use.  Seriously one of the best investments I have ever made for school.  Anyway, the kids loved the photos.  Something about the beauty of space really resonated with y students this year.

This is a fairly straight-forward lesson.  Students complete it in one class perios and we process it the next day.  

A follow-up to this lesson is Galaxy Zoo.  After we discussed the classification of galaxies, I spent a little time describing the idea of Citizen Science.  I explained the importance of it, and then showed them the options on Zooniverse. We spent the rest of the class period working partners to describe galaxies in the project. Galaxy Zoo.

Several of students have particpted in other projects on their own!! Yay!  I love it when they get involvled, even when it's not science.

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