By: Geoff Holt and Nancy W. West
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Project Earth Science: Astronomy, Revised 2nd Edition
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Publication Title:||Project Earth Science Series
|Grade Level:||Elementary School, Middle School, High School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: The Greenhouse Effect
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
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How well can your students …
• Illustrate the reason for Earth’s seasons?
• Explain how far a light year is?
• Simulate the phases of the Moon?
• Describe the effects of greenhouse gases?
• Connect astronomy to other Earth system science?
Project Earth Science: Astronomy, Revised 2nd Edition, involves students in activities that focus on Earth’s position in our solar system. How do we measure astronomical distances? How can we look back in time as we gaze across vast distances in space? How would our planet be different without its particular atmosphere and distance to our star? What are the geometries among Earth, the Moon, and the Sun that yield lunar phases and seasons? Students explore these concepts and others in 11 teacher-tested activities. Background materials for students and teachers, detailed and illustrated procedures for doing activities, and supplemental resources provide students and teachers with tools to understand Earth as one planet among many in our solar system—and universe.
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Global climate change
Solar system origin
Phases of the moon
Scientific habits of mind
|Intended User Role:||Elementary-Level Educator, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator
Additions and Changes to Revised 2nd Edition
About Project Earth Science: Astronomy
Creating Scientific Knowledge
Getting Ready for Classroom Instruction
Project Earth Science: Astronomy and the National Science Education Standards
Safety in the Classroom Practices
Standards Organizational Matrix
Activities at a Glance Matrix
Activity 1 Measuring the Moon Indirectly
Activity 2 Light Year as Distance
Activity 3 Solar System Scale
Activity 4 The Speed of Light
Activity 5 How Far to the Star? The Parallax Effect
Activity 6 The Formation of the Solar System
Activity 7 Habitable Zone: How Distance and Temperature Are Related
Activity 8 The Greenhouse Effect
Activity 9 Creature Feature: Comparing Earth to Mars and Venus
Activity 10 Reasons for the Seasons
Activity 11 Phases of the Moon
Reading 1 Angular Diameters
Reading 2 What Is a Light Year?
Reading 3 Hubble Space Telescope
Reading 4 Scale Measurements
Reading 5 The Goldilocks Effect: Earth Is Just Right
Reading 6 The Parallax Effect
Reading 7 Earth as a System
Reading 8 Global Warming
Reading 9 The Water Cycle
Reading 10 The Greenhouse Effect
Reading 11 The Coming Climate Crisis?
Reading 12 Reasons for the Seasons
Reading 13 Phases of the Moon
About the Authors
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 46 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Interactions of energy and matter
- Electromagnetic waves include radio waves (the longest wavelength), microwaves, infrared radiation (radiant heat), visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, and gamma rays. (9-12)
- Earth Science
- Properties of earth materials
- Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water, and the gases of the atmosphere.
- Objects in the sky
- The sun, moon, stars, clouds, birds, and airplanes all have properties, locations, and movements that can be observed and described.
- The sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth.
- Changes in earth and sky
- Objects in the sky have patterns of movement.
- The sun appears to move across the sky in the same way every day, but its path changes slowly over the seasons.
- The moon moves across the sky on a daily basis much like the sun.
- The observable shape of the moon changes from day to day in a cycle that lasts about a month.
- Structure of the earth system
- Water, which covers the majority of the earth's surface, circulates through the crust, oceans, and atmosphere in what is known as the "water cycle." (5-8)
- Water evaporates from the earth's surface, rises and cools as it moves to higher elevations, condenses as rain or snow, and falls to the surface where it collects in lakes, oceans, soil, and in rocks underground. (5-8)
- Water is a solvent. As it passes through the water cycle it dissolves minerals and gases and carries them to the oceans. (5-8)
- The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor. (5-8)
- Oceans have a major effect on climate, because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat. (5-8)
- Living organisms have played many roles in the earth system, including affecting the composition of the atmosphere. (5-8)
- Earth in the solar system
- The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. (5-8)
- The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system. (5-8)
- Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. (5-8)
- The motions of most objects in the solar system explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
- Gravity is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the sun and governs the rest of the motion in the solar system. (5-8)
- Gravity alone holds us to the earth's surface and explains the phenomena of the tides. (5-8)
- The sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on the earth's surface, such as growth of plants, winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle. (5-8)
- Seasons result from variations in the amount of the sun's energy hitting the surface, due to the tilt of the earth's rotation on its axis and the length of the day. (5-8)
- Energy in the earth system
- The sun is the major external source of energy. (9-12)
- Global climate is determined by energy transfer from the sun at and near the earth's surface. (9-12)
- The greenhouse effect is the warming effect on the air caused by heat rising from the surface of the Earth and being trapped by gases in the troposphere. (9-12)
- Origin and evolution of the universe
- The origin of the universe remains one of the greatest questions in science. (9-12)
- Early in the history of the universe, matter, primarily the light atoms hydrogen and helium, clumped together by gravitational attraction to form countless trillions of stars. (9-12)
- Billions of galaxies, each of which is a gravitationally bound cluster of billions of stars, now form most of the visible mass in the universe. (9-12)
- Fusion and other processes in stars have led to the formation of all the other elements. (9-12)
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Ask a question about objects, organisms, and events in the environment. (K-4)
- Plan and conduct a simple investigation. (K-4)
- Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
- Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations.
- Design and conduct a scientific investigation.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- Scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer with what scientists already know about the world. (K-4)
- Current scientific knowledge and understanding guide scientific investigations. (5-8)
- Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry. (5-8)
- Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. (5-8)
- Conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries. (9-12)
- Historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists. (9-12)
- Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry. (9-12)
- In presenting data, graphs are used to convey comparisons or trends. (9-12)
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