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Fall SAVY 2013, Week 5 – Astronomy (5th/6th grade)

Posted by on Monday, October 28, 2013 in SAVY blog.

Astronomy, Week 5 (5th/6th grade)

This week we looked at how one can find things in the sky!! They were so excited!

First we talked about star charts and hopefully you got to see the one that we gave to your student. They were generated using the Heaven’s Above website and so you can make your own! We talked about how you can find out direction from them and we talked about why we can only see Mercury and Venus near the Sun and the other planets can be seen anytime (it’s all about line of sight).

Then we showed off some of the power of the planetarium program Stellarium. We talked about how one can see why the North Star is special (even though it is the 44th brightest star in the sky). Have your student help you see that through the power of fast-forwarding 😉

After that demonstration, we went to the computer lab to try to use Stellarium. However, we found that the computers didn’t have it anymore! Therefore, we used “Heaven’s Above” to complete a worksheet that showed evidence and then required some evidence-based conclusions. Help your student complete it if they didn’t get to do so (when they get their folders to take home during the last week).

Ending our day was an adventure in the portable planetarium that I run (Fisk-Vanderbilt Astronomy Roadshow) 🙂 We had a great time in there – students were a bit excited but we learned how to translate the star chart into seeing things in the sky! I hope you get to practice soon as the weather has been terrible for observing so far :-/

FINALLY, our personal star party on the Vanderbilt campus will be held on Saturday, November 9 starting at 7:00 p.m., ending at 9:00 p.m. I know that it is after our sessions are done but we discovered many conflicts on Nov. 2. I will hand out more information during our last class.

Have a great week!
– Dr. G (Erika Grundstrom)