Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy

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Written and revised in response to requests from teachers for ideas that can be used to improve astronomy teaching, this new expanded edition offers dozens of ideas, demonstrations, and analogies gathered from over 40 teachers around the world.

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Written and revised in response to requests from teachers for ideas that can be used to improve astronomy teaching, this new expanded edition offers dozens of ideas, demonstrations, and analogies gathered from over 40 teachers around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

A collection of tips and ideas for astronomy teachers of all levels, designed to make astronomy more captivating for students and teachers. Advice is contributed by some 60 professors of astronomy. This third edition is expanded to encompass optics, cooperative learning, and testing. This edition contains new sections on public outreach, pedagogy, and the national science education standards, and offers an increased emphasis on incorporating trips to planetariums, museums, and observatories. Pompea is affiliated with Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534373016
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 7/12/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen M. Pompea is an Adjunct Associate Astronomer at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. He has served as an Associate Scientist on the Gemini 8-Meter Telescopes Project and as Instrument Scientist for the NICMOS (Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer) Project for the Hubble Space Telescope. His major research interests include star formation processes in galaxies, development of ultrablack surfaces for space telescopes, adaptive and active optics, telescope and instrument design, and stray light and contamination issues in optical systems. He is the inventor of Infrablack, a surface that is one of the world's blackest from the ultraviolet to the submillimeter region and is used to reduce glare in space telescopes. Dr. Pompea has served as an educational consultant to NASA, the Denver Museum of Natural History, the state of Nebraska, and the Denver and Houston public school districts, as well as a number of private schools and curriculum programs. He has given numerous workshops devoted to improving science teaching and to the training of secondary school and college science faculty. Dr. Pompea is also well known for his Galileo historical drama presentations delivered in full costume.

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Table of Contents

Introduction / List of Contributors 1. Connecting with Students 2. Science and Pseudoscience 3. Observational and Historical Astronomy 4. The Moon and Eclipses 5. Earth, Solar System Mechanics 6. Newton and Gravity 7. Planets, Their Satellites, and Comets 8. Physical Properties of Matter 9. Light and Electromagnetic Radiation 10. Telescopes, Optics, and Light Pollution 11. The Sun 12. Properties of Stars, Star Clusters, and the Interstellar Medium 13. Stellar Evolution 14. Galaxies and Cosmology 15. Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 16. Creating Astronomy Outreach Programs 17. Astronomy Education Research 18. Astronomy Teaching and the Science Education Standards 19. A Resource Guide for Astronomy Teaching Appendix: Astronomy Diagnostic Test

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2002

    Manditory Reference for Astronomy Teaching

    This resource, Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy, is absolutely amazing. Dr. Pompea has collected hundreds of short descriptions of teaching strategies and resources in one easy to access book. For example, regarding light and the electromagnetic spectrum, there are more than 20 demonstrations and analogies that could be used to help students. There is also information on creating successful public outreach programs. There is even an annotated bibliography of research articles in astronomy misconceptions with nearly 40 references. Every astronomy teacher should have a copy of this whether they are a novice or an experienced teacher of many years. In short, this book serves as the central foundation of my astronomy teaching tool kit and I use it all of the time.

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