Classroom Activities on Planet Finding
Concise Activity List:
Open Exoplanet Catalog has data on all known exoplanets as well as visualization tools for making graphs and plots.
Science Weekly Volume 29, Number 1 "Kepler Space Telescope" (with reading levels for Grades K-6 and Teaching Notes).
Kepler classroom activities are instrumental in teaching the following National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy (BSL):
- NSES Content Standard D: Earth in the Solar System: "The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets." Grades 5-8
- NSES Content Standard D: Earth in the Solar System: "Most objects in the solar systems are in regular and predictable motion. those motions explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses. Grades 5-8
- NSES Content Standard D: Earth in the Solar System: "Gravity is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the sun and governs the rest of the motion in the solar system...."Grades 5-8
- NSES Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Understandings About Scientific Inquiry: "Different kinds of investigations suggest different kinds of scientific investigations. Some investigations involve observing and describing objects, organisms or events; some involve collecting specimens; some involve experiments; some involve seeking more information: some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; some involve making models." Grades 6-8
- BSL The Earth: "We live on a relatively small planet, the third from the sun in the only system of planets definitely known to exist (althought other similar solar systems may be discovered in the universe.)." Grades 6-8
- BSL Models: "Different models can be used to represent the same thing....Choosing a useful model is one of the instances in which intutition and creativity come into play in science, mathematics, and engineering." Grades 6-8
- NSES Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Understandings About Scientific INquiry: "Scientists rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data. NEw Techniques and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods to gather data, thereby contributing to the advance of science. The accuracy and precision of the data, and therefore the quality of the exploration, depends on the technology used." grades 9-12
- NSES Content Standard A: Sciene as Inquiry: Understandings About Scientific Inquiry: "Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry. Mathematical tools and models guide and improve the posing of questions, gathering data, constructing explanations and communicating results."
Nifty things to put on your computer to stay up-to-date on exoplanet discoveries: