On the Web: Astronomy
Science Teachers' Grab Bag
The Science Teachers' Grab Bag lists various inexpensive resources for you and your classroom. Below are listings that relate to Astronomy:
- Podcasts of Nontechnical Astronomy Talks
Audio recordings of 12 public lectures by noted astronomers are available as free MP3 downloads from the nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific (an NSTA Associated Group). Each hour-long lecture is followed by an extensive question-and-answer period, when the speaker gives further details and personal glimpses about the topics discussed.
- Astronomy Education Review
Focusing on astronomy education and outreach, this web-based journal provides new ideas and practical help for educators.
- Astronomy Learning Aids
Printable resources for astronomy lessons include charts (meteorite categories), reference cards (solar-system relative distances), and links to other recommended online resources.
- Amazing Space Teacher Resources
Reveal the beauty and wonder of the cosmos to your students with interactive activities, graphic organizers, science content reading selections, and more. A description, suggestions for using the resource in the classroom, and related materials accompany each tool. Learn some fundamentals of astronomy, and find the answers to your students' questions about many space-based themes.
- Moon Mania
Moon facts and more are featured in this K–4 unit from Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The unit includes lesson plans, Moon trivia, and links to related astronomy and space science sites.
- Astronomy Resources from the American Museum of Natural History
For educators, families, students, and anyone interested in teaching or learning about science, the museum provides a free, easy-to-navigate online database of its collection of scientific and cultural educational materials. The Astronomy section explores the field’s history, people, tools, and concepts.
- Bohr Model Applet: Atomic Emission and Absorption
In 1912, Neils Bohr proposed a radical new model that solved the mystery of atomic spectra. In spectroscopy, astronomers use light to determine which elements are present in distant stars. The interactives on this site allow you to use a single atom to introduce the concept of spectral lines, then put that knowledge to work to reveal the composition of four different cosmic objects.
The NSTA Calendar lists the following opportunities relating to Astronomy. Click here to learn about other science education events and opportunities.
- Great World Wide Star Count, October 20–November 3
In this international event, participants go outside, look skyward after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations, and report what they see online. This citizen science event from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is designed to encourage learning in astronomy (activity guide available).
- 2008 National Astronomy Essay Contest (deadline 12/21/08)
The contest is conducted to encourage and recognize students interested in astronomy and related scientific fields. Students ages 5-18 are eligible for prizes totaling $500.
- Astronomy Day, May 2, 2009
Astronomy Week, April 27–May 3, 2009
Hundreds of astronomy clubs, observatories, museums, colleges, and planetariums worldwide host special family-oriented Astronomy Day events and festivities. Teachers can use Astronomy Day/Week resources to promote the study of astronomy with their classes.
Our panel of top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators has designated the best available supplements for your science teaching. Read product reviews here.
The Early Years
Share your thoughts on how to teach young students astronomy concepts in an age-appropriate manner in The Early Years Blog, NSTA’s online forum for early childhood educators.