Plan Your Voyage
The Voyages website was designed to provide flexibility for teachers. The result is a shopping cart experience that allows you to cherry-pick from three distinctly different activity types to create a unique learning sequence – a voyage – that suits your instructional needs.
Preflight trainings are skill-based. They are designed to take no more than a single class period and highlight very focused content. Most Preflight trainings cover the essential elements of a topic. They can be used as references when you get stuck or set the stage for success in more complex Launch and Expeditions work.
Activities in this section are designed to take no more than three class periods and involve the discovery of a specific astronomy or engineering concept using SDSS data. They do not require the use of outside spreadsheet programs, so they can work well with lower level students.
These longer-term projects may require one or more weeks to complete and target students who already have a background in astronomy. These projects are ideal for motivated high school students or university students taking an introductory course in astronomy.
Using Preflight, Launch, and Expeditions to Differentiate Experiences
Because of their varied designs, you can find the same content approached with different learning objectives in mind. For example, imagine that you are teaching a lesson that involves the magnitude scale. You may want the basic understanding of this concept to be embedded in a broader lesson, you may want the students to discover the concept on their own as the lesson, or you may want to build upon the concept as part of a larger lesson. The three types of lessons offered in Voyages give you this flexibility. Preflight – Magnitude might be a useful reference or homework assignment to teach the concept itself. In Launch – Star Color, students will discover the nature of the magnitude scale through observation. In Expedition – Galaxy Color, knowledge and understanding of these concepts are prerequisites for the lesson that then goes further and constructs computer queries to expand student understanding of the Hubble tuning fork diagram.
How to Get Started
The activities you choose to make part of your voyage depend upon your unique situation. You can decide which elements you need to create the ideal learning sequence for your students, by asking the question: What do I need from Voyages?
I need Voyages to provide:
- Supplemental content-specific activities and resources to fit into my established curriculum
- A pathway to astronomy content over an extended time frame
- Enrichment experiences for small groups of students or individuals
- Content pathway to explore information technology and engineering
- Research experiences for individuals or groups
Or just get started!