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Course Description

Academic Year 2024-2025 • Grade 10 and above • Science Sequence


We'll study 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. Learn how to navigate by the stars, why planets stay in orbit around the sun, what causes a supernova, and what modern astronomers think happened in the first three seconds 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

Sections and Teachers

Section 1:

Instructor: Christe McMenomy

Starts: September 3, 2024
Ends: May 30, 2025

Tuesday 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM ET

Tuition: $600.00


You 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.

Recommended background

Astronomy is not generally offered at the high school level, so this course gives you 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.

Teacher's notes:

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 item is required:

Stellarium Planetarium [Edition or Version: 0.21.0], Authors: Fabien Chéreau Alexander Wolf, Guillaume Chéreau, Georg Zotti, Marcos Cardinot, et. al.

ISBN: 000000000

Publisher's website: Stellarium Planetarium

Best sources: Use the above website to download the native version of the planetarium; it is available for LINUX, Windows, and Mac. It runs quite well on Catalina.

Other information: You may also wis to check out the different features.

This item is required:

Universe [Edition or Version: 11], Authors: Robert Geller; Roger Freedman; William J Kaufmann

ISBN: 1319039448

Publisher's website: Universe

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: This text is also available from VitalSource in eBook only edition.

This item is required:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Astronomy Education Application Suite [Edition or Version: 1], Authors: The Astronomy Faculty at UNL

ISBN: 0000000000

Publisher's website: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Astronomy Education Application Suite

Best sources: Use the publisher's website to download the correct set (ClassAction, NAAP Labs, Interactives) for your platform. The Mac version is 64-bit and runs nicely on Catalina.

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