Summer SAVY 2018: Session 3, Day 5 – Observational Astronomy (Rising 3rd/4th)
What a great week! We had a great day to end our time together culminating in a fun open house!
To start our day, we did some reviewing and some more complicated questions dealing with the Moon and its rise and set time coupled with the phase. Students liked trying to come up with challenge questions for each other.
Then we headed to the computer lab! First we downloaded some daylight hours data and made a graph in Excel! We had three data series, one of which we added later, and made axis labels and made them look pretty. Each student printed theirs so you should have them in their folders. Then we started examining TimeAndDate.com (which I talked about yesterday) with an eye toward students producing their own research questions using data found on this website. Every student at least had a question ready (utilizing this recipe) and were starting to collect data when our time in the computer lab ran out! We were all disappointed that we couldn’t continue but everyone has their question (and even decorated it for Open House) so they can gather the data at home and work on displaying it in a useful way. Programs you could use to display the data would be Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, OpenOffice, or Numbers.
Upon return from the computer lab, we really started getting ready for Open House! The students brainstormed on the stations they wanted for parents so there was some debate, there were things that students took and RAN with, there was a bit of chaos, but everyone helped get the room ready for their adults!
Our stations were:
– Quadrant, Compass, and Graphing – how to observe the Sun, polar data plots
– Getting Serious with Sirius (All About Stars) – planispheres, constellations, some graphing
– The Moon, Phases, Time of Day – use the body to figure out time and Moon phase
– Research Questions
Once Open House started, I heard so many great conversations and there was so much excitement the room felt like it was bursting with enthusiasm. I was so thrilled.
I’d really encourage your student to talk about what challenged or frustrated him/her in class (as everyone was challenged or frustrated at some point during the week) and then, more importantly, how s/he overcame it. If s/he doesn’t feel the frustration was overcome, then discussing what strategies and techniques would be good to try in the future would be a great topic.
Thank you for sharing your student with me this week.
– Dr. G
Open House Moments