as long as humans have looked up at the night sky, they have wondered,
"What are those tiny lights in the sky?"
"How far away are those
"Why do those lights seem to move across the
lights mean anything to my life?"
You know from your study of astronomy that the
stars do not move, we do! You also know that what you see in the night sky
depends on the date and time. You can imagine the tough job NASA,
the National Aeronautic and Space Agency, has keeping up-to-date student-
created sky maps, so they have issued a call for help.
The NASA Kids Club has just
announced a need for sky maps from every area of the United
States. As you know, what you see in the night sky
depends on your location on Earth; it also depends on the
date and time of your observation. You will need to
create a star map of the night sky from your location in
space. The maps will be forwarded to NASA where they
will be displayed in the online Art Gallery. People
from all over the world could see your map, so be sure to do
your best work!
|After you research
information about constellations and planets that can be seen from your
location, you will use your knowledge to create a sky map with the
|Use an atlas or globe to record the latitude and longitude of
your observation site.|
|Note the date and time(s) of your observation.|
|Indicate the Cardinal points on your drawing.|
|Clearly label constellations and planets.|
To see an example of a sky map, click here.
The following scoring tools will
be used to assess both the process of gathering information
and your finished product:
Question: How does our position in space change the way we
perceive other celestial bodies?
|What constellations and planets can I see in the night sky in Maryland?
|How does my position on
earth change what I can see in the night sky?
|How does the date and time of my
observation affect what I can see in the night sky?
|Why is it important to
study the night sky?
|Where else in Maryland
might I expect to gain a better view of the night sky? |
|Does the movement of constellations and
planets have any meaning for my life?|
Gather and Sort
Gather information about from a variety
Sort your research findings using this graphic
organizer. Be sure
to avoid plagiarism
and keep track of your resources for a bibliography.
Analyze your completed graphic organizer.
Synthesize your findings by answering the
following questions using a BCR format.
|What new insights about why people throughout time have been
fascinated by the night sky have emerged as a result of your research?
|Which facts did you find the most interesting and why?
|Create your sky map showing the constellations and planets that
can be seen in Maryland's night sky.
Evaluate the effectiveness of your research for the
|Have you gathered sufficient details
about the constellations and planets that can be observed in Maryland's
night sky to create your sky map?
|Is your research reflected in the story?
Reflection and/or Extension Activities:
Why do you think that
for thousands of years people saw events in the night sky as an omen
of things to come? If you could travel back in time, what
would you tell an Ancient Greek who was worried by the appearance of a
meteor in the sky?
[ Home ] [ Resources ] [ Teacher Notes ]
Last update: July, 2003
Created by Sharon Grimes
BCPS Research Module, Copyright 2001, Baltimore
County Public Schools, MD, all rights reserved. This Research
Module may be used for educational, non-profit school use only.
All other uses, transmissions, and duplications are prohibited
unless permission is granted expressly.
The Baltimore County Public schools does not guarantee the accuracy or quality of information located on telecommunications networks. We have made every reasonable attempt to ensure that our school system's web pages are educationally sound and do not contain links to any questionable materials or anything that can be deemed in violation of the BCPS Telecommunications Policy. The linked sites are not under the control of the Baltimore County Public Schools; therefore, BCPS is not responsible for the contents of any linked site, links within the site, or any revisions to such sites. Links from Baltimore County Public Schools’ web sites are provided as a convenience and do not imply an endorsement of the linked we site.
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