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Lecture Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy / Edition 2

Lecture Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy / Edition 2

by Edward E. Prather
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Funded by the National Science Foundation, Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy is designed to help make large lecture-format courses more interactive with easy-to-implement student activities that can be integrated into existing course structures. The Second Edition of the Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy contains nine new activities that focus on planetary science, system related topics, and the interactions of Light and matter. These new activities have been created using the same rigorous class-test development process that was used for the highly successful first edition. Each of the 38 Lecture-Tutorials, presented in a classroom-ready format, challenges students with a series of carefully designed questions that spark classroom discussion, engage students in critical reasoning, and require no equipment.

The Night Sky: Position, Motion, Seasonal Stars, Solar vs. Sidereal Day, Ecliptic, Star Charts. Fundamentals of Astronomy: Kepler’s 2nd Law, Kepler’s 3rd Law, Newton’s Laws and Gravity, Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes of Stars, The Parse, Parallax and Distance, Spectroscopic Parallax. Nature of Light in Astronomy: The Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum of Light, Telescopes and Earth’s Atmosphere, Luminosity, Temperature and Size, Blackbody Radiation, Types of Spectra, Light and Atoms, Analyzing Spectra, Doppler Shift. Our Solar System: The Cause of Moon Phases, Predicting Moon Phases, Path of Sun, Seasons, Observing Retrograde Motion, Earth’s Changing Surface, Temperature and Formation of Our Solar System, Sun Size. Stars Galaxies and Beyond: H-R Diagram, Star Formation and Lifetimes, Binary Stars, The Motion of Extrasolar Planets, Stellar Evolution, Milky Way Scales, Galaxy Classification, Looking at Distant Objects, Expansion of the Universe. For all readers interested in astronomy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900132392265
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Publication date: 08/15/2007
Series: Pearson Custom Library: Physics and Astronomy Series
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

The Night Sky

1. Position

2. Motion

3. Seasonal Stars

4. Solar vs. Sidereal Day

5. Ecliptic

6. Star Charts

Fundamentals of Astronomy

7. Kepler’s 2nd Law

8. Kepler’s 3rd Law

9. Newton’s Laws and Gravity

10. Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes of Stars

11. The Parsec

12. Parallax and Distance

13. Spectroscopic Parallax

Nature of Light in Astronomy

14. The Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum of Light

15. Telescopes and Earth’s Atmosphere

16. Luminosity, Temperature and Size

17. Blackbody Radiation

18. Types of Spectra

19. Light and Atoms

20. Analyzing Spectra

21. Doppler Shift

Our Solar System

22. The Cause of Moon Phases

23. Predicting Moon Phases

24. Path of Sun

25. Seasons

26. Observing Retrograde Motion

27. Earth’s Changing Surface

28. Temperature and Formation of Our Solar System

29. Sun Size

Stars Galaxies and Beyond

30. H-R Diagram

31. Star Formation and Lifetimes

32. Binary Stars

33. The Motion of Extrasolar Planets

34. Stellar Evolution

35. Milky Way Scales

36. Galaxy Classification

37. Looking at Distant Objects

38. Expansion of the Universe


Each year, over 200,000 students take introductory astronomy—hereafter referred to as ASTRO 101; the majority of these students are non-science majors. Most are taking ASTRID 101 to fulfill a university science requirement and many approach science with some mix of fear and disinterest. The traditional approach to winning over these students has been to emphasize creative and engaging lectures, taking full advantage of both demonstrations and awe-inspiring astronomical images. However, what a growing body of evidence in astronomy and physics education research has been demonstrating is that even the most popular and engaging lectures do not engender the depth of learning for which , faculty appropriately aim. Rigorous research into student learning tells us that one critical factor in promoting classroom learning is students' active "minds-on" participation. This is best expressed in the mantra: "It's not what the teacher does that matters; it's what the students do."

Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy has been developed in response to the demand from astronomy instructors for easily implemented student activities for integration into existing course structures. Rather than asking faculty—and students—to convert to an entirely new course structure, our approach in developing Lecture-Tutorials was to create classroom-ready materials to augment more traditional lectures. Any of the activities in this manual can be inserted at the end of lecture presentations and, because of the education research program that led to the activities' development, we are confident in asserting that the activities will lead to deeper and more completestudent understanding of the concepts addressed.

Each Lecture-Tutorial presents a structured series of questions designed to confront and resolve student difficulties with a particular topic. Confronting difficulties often means answering questions incorrectly; this is expected. When this happens, the activities are crafted to help a student understand where her or his reasoning went wrong and to develop a more thorough understanding as a result. Therefore, while completing the activities, students are encouraged to focus more on their reasoning and less on trying to guess an expected answer. The activities are meant to be completed by students working in pairs who "talk out" the answers with each other to make their thinking explicit.

At the conclusion of each Lecture-Tutorial, instructors are strongly encouraged to engage their class in a brief discussion about the particularly difficult concepts in the activity—an essential implementation step that brings closure to the activity. The online Instructor's Guide also provides "post-tutorial" questions that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of the Lecture-Tutorial before moving on to new material.

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