Astronomy, if passionately introduced, can promote rational thinking, and an understanding of the nature of science, through examples drawn from the history of science, and from present issues such as science fiction. Astronomy can be used to illustrate many concepts of physics, such as gravitation, light, and spectra. Many students have pretended to be astronauts, riding in their “spaceships” around the living room or on the playground visiting outer space.
The fascination with the mysteries that exist in the cosmos – in its stars, satellites, planets, galaxies, nebulae, and more – is universal. For centuries, millions of people around the world have been interested in this topic. In the United States alone, there are over 600 astronomy clubs, according to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Another example is the millions of reactions on social networks that were provoked due to the first image of a black hole, obtained on April 10, 2019. Also, the next Great American Eclipse (total solar eclipse) in the Americas comes on April 8, 2024. Totality first touches Mexico, enters the United States at Texas, cuts a diagonal to Maine, and visits the maritime provinces of Canada.
While we can’t send every child into space (yet!), educators can use space to motivate students to be better than the generations before, to care for each other, and to look after the planet that has harbored humanity since the beginning. We have a duty to our children, and our children’s children, to provide them with all the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in areas we may not have even discovered!
The possibilities for incorporating astronomy, engineering, and aerospace topics in the classroom -according to the grade and age of the students- are broad! This PD will be an awesome opportunity for teachers of all grade levels to engage in space-themed professional development!
Hosted by Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance
Come join us to explore asynchronous lessons from the NASA OKSG STEM Engagement Center and STARBASE Oklahoma!
Date: May 10, 2021 - May 14, 2021