Astronomy Resources

Hi everyone, Here are my lesson plans for the Gamma Ray Web Pages and information for additional astronomy resources. My lessons for the tools section are listed below, with links for any documents/handouts. I also included information about purchasing filters and small build-your-own telescopes among other resources and curriculum links.  A good place to check for educational activities and materials are the Education web pages associated with NASA telescopes. Also remember to check Christy’s blog for her Matrix of Activity Resources. Email me if you have any questions.

Gamma-Ray Tool Lessons

Lesson 1 – Gamma-Ray Tools Online Reading Guide – Questions to answer while reading the Tools website

Lesson 2 – Exploring Swift – Seven activities students can choose from to get a deeper understanding of different aspects of the Swift Mission

Lesson 3 – GRB Imaging  – Students use the Gamma-Ray Real Time Sky Map, SkyView Virtual Observatory and SkyNet Telescope Network to  get details about one Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB)

Word Document   Multiwavelength_Astronomy_Tools

PDF Document   Multiwavelength_Astronomy_Tools


Word Document  Swift Check-in  2nd version – 1st included in above document

PDF Document    Swift Check-in  2nd version – 1st included in above document

 Things I have to add

Resolution – comparing gamma-ray images with optical, infrared

Curriculum from NASA

Nasa’s Imagine the Universe – Two Activity Booklets about Gamma-Ray Bursts

 Swift’s Educational Lessons – Classroom lessons, presentations, transparency images;

Night Sky Network – A database of astronomy activities and resources that you can search by topic, type, classroom or outside, etc.

Astronomical Society of the Pacific – this page has links to many different resources

NASA/MSU-Bozeman CERES Project Educational Activities – These classroom ready lessons for K-12 have a good reputation.

Zooniverse – this page has many citizen science projects like Galaxy Zoo you can have students work on. There is a site called ZooTeach for teachers where you can upload or download lessons that are related to Zooniverse content.

Asteroids – Students discover properties of asteroids through these lessons


DesignLab  – a provider of lighting systems and products in Chicago. They have hundreds of filters, called Gels. You can buy them in big sheets for reasonable prices which you can then cut up for use with students. Just ask for a narrow red, green and blue filter.    328 N Albany Ave, Chicago, Il 60612,  773-265-1100

Carolina – you can also order a set of filters here. They are Item # 115868

GEMs Guides – These guides can be used with most grade levels. There are several astronomy guides.

 Telescope Kits for students

Project Aries Telescope

Set of 10 student telescopes

Telescope Kit Project Star – Astronomical Society of the Pacific

NASA Telescope Education links

Hubble Space Telescope – Amazing Space has online activities at various levels. There is also a page that has activities by topic or type.

ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercises – this page has 7 sets of exercises where students  do basic astronomical computations such as distance calculations using ESO (European Space Agency) and Hubble data.

Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope – this Education page has a variety of online or print activities related to gamma ray light.

Swift Gamma Ray Telescope – The Education and Public Outreach has a lot of information.

Chandra X-ray Telescope – this Education page has a variety of links for classroom activities. Worth looking around. This page for Educators has even more links.

WISE Telescope – this Education & Outreach page has many resources.

Stanford Solar Center – this site has so, so much. The Educator link has a large selection of lessons, many related to the Sun. This is where you can order the spectroscopes and there are also links for videos related to light and the Sun. There is also a good online activity that compares properties of the Sun with things students are familiar with.

Other Telescopes

SDSS – This page has a list of projects at three different levels that you can do with students. The basic and advanced projects have step by step instructions, leading students to particular conclusions. The challenges are open ended.

MicroObservatory – Your students can order images from this telescope through the internet. Click on the Observing with Nasa link. From this page you can control the telescope and look through Projects and Activities that your students can do. There are very good lessons for the classroom on that page. There is free image processing software you can download to use with your telescope images like astronomers do. Their video tutorials in the Tools & Training section are very good.