Solar Science: A five-unit curriculum for teens

Introduction

In the Solar curriculum you will be provided with five Sessions that are designed to be taught over the course of one month. The first Session “Mysteries” covers mysterious events that have happened on Earth such as power outages, satellite malfunctions, and auroras in unusual places. Your learners will organize these mysteries and come up with and/or research possible explanations. In Session 2, “Engineering a Sunspotter,” your learners will do a hands-on activity that involves the construction of a device they will use to observe the Sun: a sunspotter! This will be used to safely observe the Sun over the course of a few weeks. This directly ties into Session 3, “NASA Observes the Sun,” where your learners will compare their own observations to those made by NASA using an online tool called Helioviewer. In Session 4, “A Stormy Sun,” the students continue their observations and Helioviewer comparisons while learning about the layers of the Sun and the different types of light that it produces. Helioviewer will also be used for students to identify a solar pattern that spans multiple years, the solar cycle. The final session, “Living with a Star,” includes some mathematical equations as learners estimate the Sun’s rotation while using their own observational data! Learners will also revisit their Mysteries and look at space weather during those dates before learning about magnetic fields as their final lecture. They will then use SpaceWeather.com to draw their final conclusions about what they think the causes are.

Guides

These guides are designed to be printed and handed out to your learners. The guides have worksheets incorporated into them and explicit step-by-step instructions for your students to follow.

The Teacher Guide provides pedagogical resources to help you guide your learners through each portion of the curriculum, including extra resources and activity options. This is a good place to start, as it explains the different files that we provided for you to run the curriculum.

The Student Guides are designed to be printed and handed out to your learners. The guides have worksheets incorporated into them and explicit step-by-step instructions for your learners to follow.

Solar Curriculum Materials Guides

Here you will find all of the required materials for completing the activities in our Solar Curriculum.