UniServe Science, The University of Sydney
Enhancing Australian Science and Mathematics education

Space

Teaching and Learning Activities Matching the Year 7-10 NSW Syllabus

4.6.10 identify that all objects exert a force of gravity on all other objects in the universe.

Additional content: Forces - apply Newton's laws to Space travel

Liftoff to Learning: Newton in Space
An excellent site from NASA with a 12 minute introductory video , followed by notes on each of the 3 Laws.
Scroll down for class experiments to illustrate the Laws.

Understanding: Space Travel.
An imaginative lesson plan involving the idea of building cities in space and the considerations that will have to be made.
Includes a video clip and discussion questions.

Activity - A Webquest on Space Travel
Find out about the conditions on a planet or star and what it would mean to live there.

4.9 describes the dynamic structure of the Earth and its relationship to other parts of our solar system and universe.

4.9.1 Newtonian model of the Solar System
a) describe qualitatively relative sizes, distances and movements of components of our solar system

Size Comparison of Astronomical Objects
Scale pictures, with notes, comparing the planets and others of star and galaxies helps to give an idea of the vast scale involved.
A series of the above scale pictures shown in order of size- wait for the end past the quote!(YouTube video)

Solar System calculator for building a scale model

(For fun
- calculate your weight on other planets )

The Size and Distance Scale of The Solar System
PowerPoint (6.2MB) containing data for actual comparisons, graphing, calculation of ratios, fractions etc.

An Overview of the Solar system
Good photos, plenty of information, but fairly dull.

b) describe relative movements of the planets, moons and sun

Click under the graphic to show the Earth's tilt, spin, Moon motion and orbit.

Planets in Motion
A fact packed fast moving video covering all the basics(YouTube)

c) explain night and day in terms of Earth's rotation

Well explained but rather verbose. More information elsewhere in the site, plus some classroom activities.

The Long and the Short of it.
An activity to calculate the difference latitudemakes to length of a day around the World.

d) explain the seasons in terms of the tilt of Earth's axis and its revolution around the sun.

Windows to the Universe
Clear explanation about rotation, tilt and seasons.
Some relevant games via a button on the bottom line.

• relate the model of the solar system to the observed sky

The Night Sky
The stars we see in different seasons with the constellations superimposed

Southern Skywatch
See what there is to see tonight.
This site is kept up to date, and has local events in which to participate.

• examine information collected to assist in predicting events such as appearances of comets, eclipses and other solar system phenomena

Comet Prediction
Scroll down past the adverts to find the infromation

Predicting Eclipses
A scientific explanation, and using Stonehenge.

• collate information gained from planetary research to support theories on the formation of the solar system

Formation of the Solar System
A clear explanation with diagrams

• compare the planetary geology found within the solar system

Planetary Geology
Definition and explanation of planetary geology

Astrogeology Science Centre
A good source for a comparison exercise. Click on a planetary image in the chart to obtain information on each selected object.

• research the historical development of the present model of the solar system, including the work of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton.

History of Knowledge.
Good notes and photographs. Extensive links

4.9.2 Components of the universe
a) describe some major features of the universe, including galaxies, stars, nebulae and solar systems

The New Planetarium
A mine of resources - information and animations

c) use appropriate scales to describe differences in sizes of, and distances between, structures making up the universe.

Size Comparison of Astronomical Objects
Scale pictures, with notes, comparing the planets and others of star and galaxies helps to give an idea of the vast scale involved.

Power of Ten
A 9 minute video demonstrating scale and distance between the Solar System.(YouTube)

Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
An animation, similar to 'Power of Ten' but with accompanying data.

• explain how different cultures have interpreted constellations

Aboriginal Astronomy
A site developed by local astronomer Ray Norris for CSIRO

North America The story of the ant and the bear.

5.9 relates the development of the universe and the dynamic structure of the Earth to model, theories and laws and the influence of time.

5.9.3 Components of the Universe
describe some changes that are likely to take place during the life of a star.

Life of a Star
Definition of a star and its life cycle with good photos. Useful for a flow chart activity.

12 Billion Years in 6 Minutes

Be an Astrophysicist at NASA

• compare the big bang theory with other theories of the development of the universe

Big Bang Theory
Notes and video clip of a simulation

More Detailed Explanation
Student Explanation

• describe evidence used to support estimates of time in the universe.

Age of the Universe
Interesting historical details

Components of the Universe

Good general notes with no author that are from the Macquarie University astronomy website.(word doc)

• relate colours of stars to their age, distance from Earth and size

Detailed information from NASA

Article with clear explanations and good photos from 'Space Daily' - an online newsletter for enthusiasts.

A coordination game
for the end of the day

• explain why quasars have provided evidence of a changing universe

Frequently asked questions about quasars Excellent notes, no illustrations - from Virginia Tech University

Animation and audio signals from actual pulsars

• discuss the impact of Voyager probes and the Hubble Space Telescope on knowledge and understanding of the universe.

The definitive website on Voyager, notes and video - so how can it help?

Details on the message carried by Voyager - a good starting point for discussion, and students could design their own message.

Information on Voyager's progress.

The definitive Hubble Space Telescope site

Video using amazing HST photos (YouTube)