of "Online exploration: Telescopes From the Ground Up "
Online exploration: 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 called "Get to the Root of It," which can be used for review, learning the basics or remediation.
Format(s) available: Online interactive
Grades: 6-14, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
Educator Guide: See online teacher pages.
How to use it in the classroom
exploration: Telescopes From the Ground Up can be used as a technology
lesson, which highlights the link between technological advances and scientific
discoveries. Teachers can have their students use the "Telescope Timeline" activity
sheet to order 14 events in the history of telescope development,
and provide an explanation of why each event is significant.
Selected sections of the lesson plan are also accessible from the first page of the activity: A science background component (the "All About Telescopes" button) contains information about light and color as well as telescopes. Other resources (the "Telescope Links" button) include downloadable images from the lesson, a student activity sheet ("Telescope Timeline," a downloadable PDF), a pre-engagement activity, and related Web sites. Specific information about computer requirements can be found by clicking the Computer Needs button.
Related materials (accessed below) include an audio slide show, which may be used for pre-engagement and/or follow-up activities.
Amazing Space resources by topic: Space telescopes
Amazing Space resources by topic: History of science
For additional information on how telescopes work and what else we know about the Whirlpool Galaxy, access the audio slide show, "Piercing the Sky."
Printable images of the telescopes used in the activity are listed in the Grab Bag section of the lesson plan, which can be found through the lesson plan (Teaching Tips) or by clicking on Telescope Links on the first page of the activity. Teachers can print "Three images of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)" from the Grab Bag to use as a pre-engagement activity. A "Telescope Timeline" accompanies the activity and can be printed for use while the students are working through the activity.