Skip to main content
  • Morning Star, Evening Star

    Book Chapter | March 2017

    In this lesson, a brother and sister learn that Venus is visible as either a morning star or an evening star at different times of the year, and they try to explain the pattern of movement of Venus in the sky. Key words…

  • Rising star

    Book Chapter | January 2006

    Supposedly young people are first introduced to waves while attending or watching sports events. These stadium waves can provide some useful insights into the most counterintuitive property of waves—the wave moves, but…

  • Shooting Star

    Book Chapter | March 2012

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about objects in the night sky. The probe is designed to uncover students’ understanding of the nature of meteors, comets, and stars.

  • Seeing Stars

    Book Chapter | April 2012

    The winter months are a great time to make observations of several familiar constellations. While there’s no scientific reason to “know” the constellations—they are simply imaginative pictures imposed on stars—studying…

  • Where Are the Stars in Orion?

    Book Chapter | March 2012

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ understanding of stars in constellations. The probe is designed to find out whether students recognize that stars are distributed in space, that some stars are…

  • What Are Stars Made Of?

    Book Chapter | March 2012

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about how astronomers investigate the composition of stars. The probe is designed to see if students recognize that the colors from the light given off…

  • Do Stars Change?

    Book Chapter | March 2012

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about what happens to stars over time. The probe is designed to reveal whether students recognize that occasionally new stars are “born,” change over…

  • Are We Made of Star Stuff?

    Book Chapter | March 2012

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about stars and the origin of the chemical elements. The probe is designed to reveal their thinking about the role of stars in transforming hydrogen and…

  • Stars and Constellations: Using a Planetarium

    Book Chapter | March 2017

    This high school Earth and space science lesson has the following learning goals for students: locate and identify relevant information about a constellation and the stars within it; use a planetarium or a star finder…

  • Where Do Stars Go?

    Book Chapter | June 2009

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about stars. It is designed to examine students’ ideas about the location of stars in the daytime. Elementary students make observations of the day and…

  • Emmy's Moon and Stars

    Book Chapter | January 2007

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about the relative position of common objects seen in the sky. The probe is designed to find out if students recognize how far away the stars are in…

  • How Far to the Star? The Parallax Effect

    Book Chapter | January 1970

    In this activity, students conduct two experiments with parallax by viewing a pencil against a backdrop marked with equally spaced lines. In the first experiment, students note the shift in the apparent position of the…

  • What Happens to Stars When They Die?

    Book Chapter | March 2012

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about stars’ life cycle. The probe is designed to reveal what students think occurs at the end of a star’s life.

  • Nuclear Fusion: Harnessing the Power of the Stars

    Book Chapter | May 2019

    In this lesson, students consider nuclear fusion and its potential to meet human energy needs in the future, as well as the substantial technology and engineering challenges associated with creating fusion reactions.…

Asset 2