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Aurora Science Lecture, Con't.

Day 3 (3 hours)

  • How aurora affected navigation by compass and telephone and telegraph lines toward the end of the last century. Discuss simple hands-on demonstrations that students can build and use to see the effect of electric current on the orientation of a compass needle.  1.5 hours
  • How aurora disrupts radio and radar systems, and how research in this area has led to our current understanding of the effects of how weather on our sun affects the outer layers of the earth's atmosphere.  1.0 hour
  • How studies of the motions of the first satellites to orbit the earth further helped us understand solar weather and its affects on the earth's atmosphere, including aurora.  0.5 hour

Day 4 (3 hours)
  • How instruments aboard satellites and rockets have been used to learn about the aurora.  1.0 hour
  • Why do scientists continue to study the aurora? What are its greatest mysteries? What effects do aurora have on today's technologies?   2.0 hours
Day 5 (3 hours)
  • During the last forty years, how have scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute played a major role in auroral research. Why that work led the Geophysical Institute to establish the only rocket range in the world owned and operated by a university to study the aurora in 1969. The instructor will give a slide presentation about the operation of Poker Flat. What has been learned about the aurora from Poker Flat? why and how is it becoming perhaps the best place on earth to study the aurora?
  • Teaching practicum with middle school student volunteers.  3.0 hours
Student evaluations
  • Each student will be asked to write and submit to the instructor for grade a one-page paper describing two curriculum elements they could use in their own classrooms. This paper must be submitted within one week after the last day of class.
Texts and Materials:
Aurora Borealis: The Amazing Northern Lights by Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu. You can purchase this book by Clicking Here!
The Aurora Watchers Handbook by Dr. T. Neil Davis
The Aurora Explained (30 min. video) by Dan Osborne, Neal Brown & Tom Hallinan

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