Astro-Venture  NASA

Astro-Venture Astronomy Training

Astronomy is broken down into 4 parts, an introduction and a resource section. Each is available in a separate PDF file that can be downloaded, printed and duplicated. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download these files.

Introduction | PDF (817kb)
Part 1 | PDF (3.3mb)
Part 2 | PDF (3.9mb)
Part 3 | PDF (11.8mb)
Part 4 | PDF (6.2mb)
Astro-Venture Astronomy Training Unit Correlation to California Standards
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Astro-Venture Astronomy Training Unit Overview
States of Matter, Human Health, Systems and Scientific Inquiry

The Astro-Venture Astronomy Lessons have been developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the purpose of increasing students’ awareness of and interest in astrobiology and the many career opportunities that utilize science, math and technology skills. The lessons are designed for educators to use with students in grades 5-8 in conjunction with the Astro-Venture multimedia modules on the Astro-VentureWeb site.

In the Astronomy section, students begin as Junior Astronomers where they identify human needs for survival and complete the online Astronomy Training module to discover the astronomical conditions of our solar system that make Earth habitable to humans. When they have successfully completed their training, they earn their badge and are promoted to Senior Astronomer. They then engage in off-line Astronomy lessons to discover why we need the astronomical conditions identified in Astronomy Training. Finally, they proceed to their online Astronomy Mission where they work with NASA scientists to find a star system and planet with the astronomy features that will support human life. Before embarking on further research in other areas, they must summarize their research findings and convince the World Science Foundation (a fictional group made up of their peers) that the planet they have found is worthy of further exploration.

Astronomy Introduction
The Astronomy unit, objectives, standards, lesson structure and rubrics are explained in detail in the following document.
Astro-Venture Astronomy Introduction PDF (817 KB)
Part 1: Astronomy Unit Introduction

Unit Concept: For a planet to support human life, it must have liquid water at or near the surface all of the time. There are astronomical factors, which affect the ability of a planet to have these conditions.

Overview of Part 1: Students are introduced to the basic requirements for human survival. Using an online, multimedia module, they change factors of our solar system and draw conclusions about which factors are necessary for human survival.

1. Unit Introduction
2. Astronomy Training Module

Astro-Venture Astronomy Part 1: Unit Introduction Lessons PDF (3.3 MB)
Part 2: States of Matter

Overview of Part 2: Students explore the conditions required for water to be in a liquid state. They discover that temperature is the essential variable. They then explore how temperature affects the motion of molecules and molecular bonds.

3. Properties of Matter
4. Matter and Molecules
5. Changing States of Matter
6. Measuring Temperature

Astro-Venture Astronomy Part 2: States of Matter PDF (3.9 MB)
Part 3: The Planetary Temperature System

Overview of Part 3: Students explore the planetary temperature system. They further explore how each part influences the system and the consequences of disrupting that system.

7. Thinking in Systems
8. The Solar System
9. Planetary Temperature As A System
10. Atmosphere and Temperature
11. Atmospheric Mass
12. Disrupting the System

Astro-Venture Astronomy Part 3: The Planetary Temperature System PDF (11.8 MB)
Part 4: Unit Conclusion and Evaluation

Overview of Part 4: Students use an online, multimedia module to simulate the techniques that scientists might use to find a star system and planet that meet the astronomical conditions required for human habitability. Students then summarize their learning from this unit in a final project.

13. Astro-Venture Mission Module Training
14. Final Project

Astro-Venture Astronomy Part 4: Unit Conclusion and Evaluation PDF (6.2 MB)
Astro-Venture Astronomy Training Unit Correlation to California Standards
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