Training: Teachers Level 2
Welcome to our Astronomy Workshop for Teachers - Level 2!
This is where you can find all workshop content, including videos, PowerPoint documents, activities to try and resources to explore.
I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Julie Bolduc-Duval and I'll be your teacher for the next three weeks. For over 20 years, I've been sharing my passion for making astronomy knowledge more accessible to all. I studied physics, astronomy, and education at the university level and I've worked at different observatories delivering public programs. I also taught college physics and astronomy before founding Discover the Universe in 2011.
I'm here to help you learn astronomy; so don't be afraid to contact me!
HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS
There are a few options for interacting with me and your fellow learners:
Use this Padlet to ask questions and interact with other workshop participants.
I will be available for questions and discussions during my office hours in this Zoom room, each Wednesday of the workshop (April 14, 21 and 28) at 4pm EDT (UTC-4) or Montreal time.
You can also contact me directly at julie@ discovertheuniverse.ca or 1-418-332-0428
WEEK 2 - History of the Universe (coming soon)
WEEK 3 - Are we alone? (coming soon)
Week 1 - The Solar System
This week we will be looking at different topics related to the Solar System. In our workshop Level 1, we introduce the Solar System in general and the different objects in it (by the way, it's okay if you didn't take it before taking our Level 2 workshop!). Here, we will instead focus on three more specific topics often found in the curriculum:
the Sun and solar activity,
gravity and orbits, and
THE SUN AND SOLAR ACTIVITY
The Sun is our star, and the stars in the night sky are all suns. It is not intuitive at first to understand that they are the same type of object: giant balls of gas that emit a lot of energy and light. Although the Sun is the closest star to us and is much easier to study, there are still many unknowns about how it works, especially in relation to its solar activity cycle.
To talk about the Sun and solar activity with your students, I invite you to look at our educational module The Solar Cycle, available in our Resources section. It presents an inquiry-based activity that uses a very interesting online tool: HelioViewer.org.
This site uses real images of the Sun and allows you to view them in different ways. I had created a demonstration of this site last year. I'm including it here:
If you or your students would like to learn more about northern lights, you can watch this episode of Astro at home, a series of astronomy programs we offered during the first school closures when the pandemic started in spring 2020.
GRAVITY AND ORBITS
Gravity is a concept that is not always found explicitly in the school curriculum, but which is essential to understand many things in astronomy. We will study it here to understand the orbits of the different objects of the Solar system.
Visit the site http://mgvez.github.io/jsorrery/
It is not always easy to teach gravity because it's impossible to experience it any other way than being in the Earth's gravitational field. The PhET program at the University of Colorado has created some very useful simulations to teach science, including one that allows us to "play" with gravity.
If you want to dig deeper in your understanding of gravity, you can watch our webinar "Understanding Gravity" presented a few years ago. You can find it in our Archives.
IMPACT CRATERING - coming soon!