Fees: See Equipment list below

Learning Recommendations:

General Description:

  • This is a yearlong laboratory course which serves as a science elective
  • Students will be investigating the wonders of our solar system, observing the phenomena of the stars, and exploring the mysteries of the galaxies and cosmos
  • Emphasis on lab skills and inquiry investigation
  • Emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving via engineering
  • Throughout this course, students will learn how basic physics and math can come together to help them understand the universe. Thus, quantitative science and math skills should be considered when enrolling.
  • This class explores the NGSS Space Science standards and reemphasizes some NGSS Physics standards.
  • This course fulfills college prep requirements as outlined by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) as a lab-based science course.

Content: Students will be actively engaged in learning and experiencing:

  • Methods and application of physical measurement
  • History of Astronomy
  • Space exploration and rocketry (if time allows)
  • Formation of the solar system and its bodies
  • Characteristics of stars
  • Emission/absorption spectra
  • Concepts of fusion reactions
  • Main sequence evolution
  • Post Main sequenceresults
  • Galaxy morphology
  • The history of the universe and its evidence
  • As time allows: special topics and current events in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Skills taught in this course include:

  • Increased proficiency in inquiry, engineering, and guided laboratory explorations
  • Expanded problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Data analysis and graphing techniques
  • Communication through scientific reading and writing

Strategies: Students will learn through a combination of:

  • Inquiry, engineering, and guided laboratory explorations
  • Visually enhanced lecture/discussions
  • Interactive class and small group discussions and practice
  • Inquiry-based self-paced tutorials and learning opportunities
  • Interactive student and teacher led demonstration and computer simulations
  • Student project and research with emphasis on scientific communication

Equipment to be provided by student:

  • WebAssign: $10.50 - 15.50 + tax (based on adopted text)
    • Used for graded homework and online assessments
    • Already used in general and IB physics courses
  • Rocketry Kit: ~$15 + shipping (if time allows)
    • Fulfills engineering requirements for NGSS
    • Students will keep rocket after they complete launch and formal lab report
  • Student Supplied Equipment (day-to-day needs):
    • Space in a 3-ring notebook/folder
    • Loose leaf notebook and graph paper
    • Composition notebook dedicated to Astronomy
    • Scientific calculator
    • Metric ruler
    • Personal tape dispenser
    • Multiple colors of ink pens, highlighters, pencils AND erasers