Back to the Lesson
/ Overview of the Lesson
How to Prepare for an "Online Exploration"
Process Skills Acquired
Target Audience / Grade Levels
Description / overview of the lesson:
“Telescopes From the Ground Up” traces the history of telescope development and highlights the interplay between technological and scientific advances. In this modular activity, milestones in telescope development are highlighted in the 10 sections called “eras,” with specific examples included in the associated “telescope pages.” The human component is integrated through the biography pages, which provide a glimpse of the inventors and astronomers behind the telescopes. The science of light and telescopes is presented in the section “Get to the Root of It,” which can be used for review, learning the basics, or remediation. Depending on the teacher’s objective, “Get to the Root of It” can be accessed prior to doing the activity and/or while working through the eras and telescope pages.
Students can work through “Telescopes From the Ground Up” independently or in groups. Teachers may choose to have students study a portion of the activity and then share their learning with the class. An activity sheet is available to use as an assessment in which students identify the importance of a series of events in the history of telescopes and then rank them in chronological order.
How to Prepare for an “Online Exploration”
Decide if the activity meets your needs.
Before using the activities...
While students are doing an activity…
Using the activities without an Internet connection
· A review of the history of telescope development.
· Identify important events related to the evolution of the telescope.
· Relate technological advances to scientific advances using the telescope as the tool.
Before attempting to complete this lesson, the student should:
· Read at an 8th-grade level.
· Be able to interpret information.
· Have basic note-taking skills.
· Be able to read to answer comprehension questions.
· Know that the electromagnetic spectrum is a continuum of wavelengths (also, frequency and energy), artificially broken into seven sections called radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays.
· Be able to explain that light travels in straight lines unless something alters its path.
· Know that mirrors reflect light, whereas lenses refract light.
· Know that telescopes gather and focus more light than the human eye can.
Note: All prerequisite information content can be found in the “What You Need to Know” section of “Get to the Root of It.”
Process skills acquired:
· Reading for a purpose
Target audience / grade levels:
Grades 7–14, various levels of abilities
· Time necessary to download computer
software to support the lesson.
· Teachers should allow time to preview the lesson and to read the science background pages. These pages will provide additional content that will help teachers answer questions posed by students.
· By previewing the lesson plan, teachers will be able to select an engagement activity, identify follow-up activities, and allow time for gathering supplies needed by students to complete the lesson.
Execution time by module:
The following times are approximate. The execution time for each module could vary, depending on your purpose for using the module, the school's Internet location (e.g., classroom, library, computer lab), the number of computers available with Internet access, and the number of students in the class.
Get to the Root of It
· Start with the basics: 30–60 minutes
· Light, color, and optics: 30–45 minutes
· Telescopes: 45–60 minutes
Explore the History of Telescopes from Galileo to the Great Observatories
· Galileo’s Refractor: about 10 minutes
· Early Refractors: about 10 minutes
· Great Refractors: about 20 minutes
· Newton’s Telescope: about 10 minutes
· Early Reflectors: about 25 minutes
· Hugh Reflectors: about 20 minutes
· Solar Telescopes: about 10 minutes
· Radio Telescopes: about 15 minutes
· Multi-mirror Telescopes: about 15 minutes
· Space Telescopes: about 30 minutes
March 16–17, 2005
December 27, 2007
· Research: Linda Knisely, Tracy Vogel
· Writing: Tracy Vogel
· Science consultants: Michael Wenz, Frank Summers, Ph.D., STScI
· Education specialist: Linda Knisely
· Informational graphics: Kathy Cordes, Linda Knisely
· Image searches and permissions: Linda Knisely, Stephanie Smith, Heather Bradbury
· Copy editing: Ann Feild Didyk, Kathy Cordes, Tracy Vogel
Design and production
· Designer: Stephanie Smith
· Illustrator: Stephanie Smith
· Informational graphics: Kathy Cordes
· Interactive informational graphics: Stephanie Smith
· Programming: Jonathan Eisenhamer, John Bartelme
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