Astronomy Syllabus

Course description: Science is the systematic study of the Universe. In Astronomy, we will investigate topics in the physical sciences as they relate to Earth's place in the solar system, the composition and structure of the solar system, the evolution and processes in stars, galaxies and the Universe as a whole. Throughout the course, reading and lab activities will be important. The emphasis of this course is on problem solving, methods of science, and impacts of science on everyday life.

Colorado Science Standard and Extended Evidence Outcome accomplishments expected of students:

Physical Science-Students know and understand common properties, forms and changes in matter and energy.

  • Observe, explain, and predict natural phenomena governed by Newton's laws of motion, acknowledging the limitations of their application to very small or very fast objects
  • Apply an understanding of atomic and molecular structure to explain the properties of matter, and predict outcomes of chemical and nuclear reactions
  • Apply an understanding that energy exists in various forms, and its transformation and conservation occur in processes that are predictable and measurable

Earth Systems Science-Students know and understand the processes and interactions of Earth's systems and the structure and dynamics of Earth and other objects in space.

  • Describe how humans are dependent on the diversity of resources provided by Earth and Sun
Astronomy Essential Outcomes:

1. The student will apply the processes of scientific investigation and design, conduct, analyze, communicate about, and evaluate such investigations.

2. The student will demonstrate the skills of location on the celestial sphere, including determination of latitude and longitude, cardinal direction, and elevation.

3. The student will relate the movements of the moon and sun to effects on Earth.

4. The student will describe the structure and composition of the solar system, including similarities and differences between planets.

5. The student will understand the processes that occur in stars, and the implications of these processes to stellar composition and evolution.

6. The student will understand the physical laws that govern the structure and motion of galaxies.

7. The student will use the Big Bang Theory to describe the structure and predict the fate of the Universe.

Class rules:

1. Treat everyone, their property, and all class equipment with respect. I expect every person in the class to have and to show respect for him- or herself and for others. That means that all of us will strive to respect the possessions, personal space, feelings and ideas of everyone in the classroom and in the school. Everyone should be courteous and understanding toward fellow classmates.

2. Participate appropriately in class.

3. Use all equipment properly. This includes astronomical devices which will be used in labs. Students are required to read, sign and implement a Laboratory Safety Contract.

Instructional and grading methods to be used:

1. Reading assignments-there will be printed and online (Internet) reading assignments for this class. Usually reading assignments have associated problems sets or worksheets. Worksheets and problems are due on the day indicated, and will not be accepted more than one (1) day late. If a student is absent, it is that student's responsibility to obtain any assignments that may have been made by contacting the teacher either before or after class.

2. Notebook-students MUST have a notebook dedicated to this class, which the student must bring to class every day. This notebook will be collected periodically and graded. If a student is absent, it is that student's responsibility to get and understand any notes or work that the student missed.

3. Laboratories-labs are extra credit in this class. Observational labs will occur approximately every other week during the evening to observe the moon, planets and stars. Five extra credit points may be obtained by attending evening observational sessions. These sessions will be held near Byers High School, and students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the session.

4. Class participation-each student is awarded 5 points per day for participation. These points may be lost by disruptive behavior. Be in class and be on your best behavior so that all of us may learn.

5. Examinations-there will be examinations over content areas. Byers High School grading system applies. The semester exam in this class is cumulative in content, and makes up approximately 10% of the semester grade.

If you have questions or concerns about the class or topics, please ask! The information (class schedule, reading assignments, etc.) will be posted on my web site at: . Please use this resource to help you in class!