Engaging Your Students in Astronomy
July 15-20, 2012, Penn State, Harrisburg
The Solar System is not simply a collection of nearby objects; instead, they are integrally connected to each other through the solar system's formation. Billions of years after the formation, we find observable patterns in the properties of the planets and moons that teach us how they must have formed. While we have largely figured out the story of our solar system and earth's place in it, recent observations of other solar systems around other stars are forcing astronomers to reevaluate how common our own story is in the context othe rest of the universe. This workshop engages teachers in innovative approaches to teaching solar system phenomena, while learning new astronomy themselves. Teachers will explore earth's night sky and the rest of the solar system with the Starry Night software package in order to learn how they can promote their students' deep understanding of astronomical phenomena.
Prior to the workshop, participants will complete a common non-technical read, participate in an online discussion, and view key videos as needed to develop a common foundational content background. Participants will bring samples of current curricular materials and student work to share, discuss and revise. All curricular materials and exercises used during the workshop will be provided for participants. We strongly encourage teams of teachers from the same school or district to apply. This can include both horizontal (within a grade level) or vertical (across grade levels) teams across. Participants will also be asked to attend three reunions during the academic year, at least one of which will be held in their region/district.