You Be the Astrophysicist!
Many times, the best way to learn about something is to do it. We think
the best way to learn about what an astrophysicist does would be to spend a
day (or two or three) in the shoes of one. But since we don't have room
for everyone who visits our web site to visit our lab, we've tried to do
the next best thing. In these web pages, you will be given a real problem
in astronomy which you solve by traveling through web pages, exploring
different options and learning many different things along the way.
Science is a process of inquiry. Scientists propose hypotheses and test
them with experiments. In these pages you will begin with several options
for experiments that may lead to the answer you are seeking. Scientists
go down many paths that turn out to be dead ends. In these pages, you will
encounter some dead ends, too. But often a scientist learns much from a
"dead end". You will find that is true here as well.
As you travel through the pages in the site to answer the question you are
given, you will have the chance to read about relevant concepts in
astronomy and test your skills with interactive quizzes. You should
take the time to take the interactive quizzes. For each one that you
successfully complete, you will be given a record at the end of skills
and concepts you have learned. You will have
the opportunity to take different paths and to try different techniques.
Different paths are indicated by buttons as well as descriptions. Some
buttons you will encounter (and what you will find there) include:
||To get more information|
||To choose an experiment
||To use calculations and tools
||To look at some data
||To take a quiz
When you encounter a quiz to test what you have learned, always press the
"check me" button to check your answer and proceed (rather than pressing
the return button). By taking the quizzes, you will generate a list of
concepts you have learned by exploring these problems.
Teachers: If you like, you can ask students to print
out the final page, which contains a list of new skills or concepts the
student has mastered in his or her journey. Many of these skills
correspond in some way to National Science or Math standards. Thus
these printouts can be used as an assessment tool for this activity.
As always, we appreciate your comments about these projects.
Now you can choose an astronomy question to solve from the list below:
When you're done with these,
try your hand at analyzing actual data.
Check out Hera.