Introduction to the principles of modern astronomy, including basic constellation recognition, apparent motions of celestial objects, development of the Copernican model of the solar system, telescope optics, characteristics of solar system planets, stellar structure and life cycles, and current theories on the origin of the universe.
This course is taught using the Scholars Online Chat software, which allows the teacher to embed graphics, mathematical equations, and movies in the chat session, with complete logging available for the entire year. Audio software is not used to allow students with limited internet access to participate fully, and to encourage precise thinking and writing skills.
Course Website: Astronomy
Instructor: Christe McMenomy
Starts: September 7, 2021
Ends: June 10, 2022
Tuesday 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM ET
Students should have completed Algebra I and be able to solve the quadratic formula, calculate areas and volumes, and be comfortable with exponential notation. Concepts using logarithms will be presented as part of the course.
Astronomy is not generally offered at the high school level, so this course gives students a unique option to broaden science curriculum. It is particularly appropriate for students who have completed Biology or Natural Science but have not yet taken the pre-calculus math required for AP/Honors Chemistry or Physics. It is also an excellent opportunity for seniors who have completed a biology-chemistry-physics sequence to apply their skills in a different area.
Lab exercises and observing session suggestions are presented for each week's chapter, but are not required for completion of the course. Students completing at least 12 lab exercises will receive lab credit; labs may be completed over the summer to accommodate weather conditions and best opportunities for observing planets and deep-sky objects.
Textbooks and Materials
This textbook is required:Universe [Edition 11], Authors: Robert Geller; Roger Freedman; William J Kaufmann
Publisher's website: Universe
Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore
Other information: This text is also available from VitalSource in eBook only edition.
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Classes start August 31, 2020. Enroll by August 20 to attend orientation to avoid late enrollment fees.