We are happy to present a set of activities, resources, and research experiences which build on data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our materials allow your students to explore a wide variety of astronomical objects, from asteroids in our own Solar System to the most distant quasars ever observed, using the same high-quality data employed by professional astronomers.
Voyages was not designed as a direct instruction resource. Instead, our aim is to provide the pathways and supporting resources needed for students to experience discovery on their own or in small groups.
How much does it cost?
All materials on SkyServer are available free of charge, including all lesson plans, access to the teacher’s pages, and access to all data.
What is available in Voyages?
SkyServer Voyages is designed for students in high school and introductory college courses. The entire site is designed to give teachers flexibility when organizing learning experiences for their students. More than that, the structure of the lessons and resources provides many opportunities to differentiate on the fly. Support materials and extensions are available as needed. Students who have greater background and experience with the material can discover the next area of exploration on their own. Students are given clues and directions throughout the activities about where to find more information or support to understand difficult concepts. Voyages strives to put students at the helm of their adventure with support from you, the teacher, at ground control.
This is your voyage. We provide you with the places to go and the support material needed to make the experience diverse, rich, and flexible.
What additional materials are being planned for the future?
- Notes and teaching tips on all lessons
- Correlations to national Math and Science Standards
- Strategies for documenting student progress from reproducible and editable student journals to on-line options
Submit your suggestions or activity requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
What materials are available for teachers?
- Sample voyages that demonstrate how you could structure a learning experience for your students
- Strategies to help you fit the lessons into your available time and learning objectives
- Access to lesson plans and resources related to topics covered in Voyages through the Zoo Teach resource
- A complete list of the available Preflight, Launch, and Expedition type activities with a short description
How do I get started?
If you are new to this website, begin in the Activity Description section which provides an overview of the lessons that are available. The Sample Voyages page provides several examples of how you might combine activities and resources to meet your particular needs.
The Sloan Digital Sky Surveys are multinational collaborations. We have chosen a simple star ranking system to denote the general difficulty level of the activity.
One star activities are appropriate for students new to astronomy. Students as young as 12 years old should be able to use these activities successfully.
Two star activities require some background in astronomy or physics to complete. These activities are usually more open-ended and complex. Students 15 years and older are expected to be able to manage these activities.
Three star activities should only be undertaken if the student is able to work independently or significant pre-teaching is planned. They all require prior knowledge, which is noted at the top of the activity page. Students taking a physics or astronomy course or who are prepared to do independent research will find Expedition-type activities the most interesting.