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Aurora Science
Fifteen contact hours

Brief Description  In this class you will develop curriculum elements to have ready for your students when aurora occur in the sky or you hear about them as television or radio news stories. The course will discuss what aurora are, what causes them, how we know what we know about them, and what affect they have on man in the present and the past.

Aurora Science course objective The goal of this class is to educate teachers so they can understand and explain to their students and others what aurora are, why they occur, how we have learned what we know about the aurora and what affect they have had on man in the past and the present.

  • Instructor will develop and deliver Alaska aerospace-related curriculum topics for K-12 teachers in one-credit-hour modules.
  • For five of the fifteen contact hours students will participate in hands-on instruction activities and approporiate field trip.
  • Final grade will be based on development of appropriate curriculum elements that teachers can use in their classrooms.
Course content syllabus
Day 1 (3 hours)
  • Presentation of overview of the topics covered in the course. Describe grading system: student's grades will be based on curriculum elements that they develop for their own use.  0.5 hours
  • Introduction to the aurora through slides and narration. Instructor will provide narration for a set of pictures.  1.0 hours
  • Discussion: how do we know what we know about the aurora?
    Review of information gathered from written and verbally transmitted records that span man's recorded history. How aurora were interpreted by people before the use of current scientific research methods. Aurora as recorded in oral legends, prose and poetry, woodcuts, drawings, paintings and photography.  1.5 hours
Day 2 (3 hours)
  • How exploration of the arctic inspired more recent research of the aurora.  1.0 hour
  • The role of photography in revealing the height, occurrence, source and excitation of light from the aurora. This includes discussion of commonly seen electric discharge light sources, and the use of cameras and spectrographs to study the light of the aurora.  2.0 hours Continue to next page...

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