**From:** lindgren@meol.mass.edu (Charles F. Lindgren)

**Subject:** Re: Eclipse Observation

**Date:** Sat, 21 Sep 1996 16:13:57 +0100

Mike, Here's Renee Crawley's description of the lesson: To encourage students to observe the quality of the night sky and to determine the number of stars that can be seen from their location. ENGAGE: Ask students how many stars there are outside at night. Accept all estimates and record them. Ask how they could go beyond guesses and estimates. Tell the students that they are going to devise a way to count the stars in the sky. EXPLORE/EXPLAIN: Ask the student to explain the phrase "Twinkle, Twinkle little star". Ask them what twinkling means. Explain to students that only stars twinkle. The moon and the planets do not. As a group make the guess suggested above and record. ---------- MATERIALS: empty paper towel or toilet paper tubes. (you can also make your own using tag board) Scissors Ruler Protractor (for older kids) to measure angles Compass to determine North PROCEDURE: Have students measure the width of their observing device. Cut the tube so the length is 3 times the width. The tube will show a small area of the sky. EXPAND: Plan a time for students to take a star census. Review with students how to do the counting. If possible it would be interesting to have the students make these observations in different locations. (near a city, or in the country) and at different times. When there's a bright moon and when there's no moon. For younger students you can use less observations Just remember that each observation represents 1/144th of the sky. If they observe in all four directions at the 3 angles they will have 12 pieces of data. 4 directions X 3 angles.) They would then times the total by 12.. If students make only 6 observations they would multiply the total number of stars observed by 24. I hope that helps! It's really fun, and I did it last year with 5, 6, 7 and 8 year olds. We were part of the count and the kids were really excited. ---------- Renee Crawley I thought Renee did a great job outlining it, so I just copied her lesson. The way I'm going to do it is to create a histogram of all of the results before eclipse and during, and a histogram of the classification results for the eclipse. Then I'm just going to post them. I don't know if PTK is going to create a spot for us on their homepage or not. The official URL with full description is http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/hst/events/starsearch.html Keep in touch, Charlie