Course: Asteroid Challenge, Target: Earth

Asteroid Challenge Course

Novice:

This course gives beginning astronomers a wonderful overview of our solar system — the planets in orbit around the sun and some of the other objects in space, including asteroids. The course focuses on Apophis, a large asteroid that may be on a collision course with Earth.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium, helps students understand how the composition of an asteroid and its path in space are critical in determining how to deal with it. Apophis is one that requires students to use spectroscopy and investigate all the angles in order to prevent it from doing a lot of damage to our planet. In the end, they make their own decisions with feedback from Dr. Tyson. It's a fun and exciting adventure!


Expert:

This course places students in the midst of a challenge to save Earth from Apophis, a real asteroid that could be on a collision course with Earth. They also learn about meteors, comets and craters. Students learn about the planets in our Solar System and the composition, history and orbits of asteroids. In interactive labs, they compute the trajectory of an asteroid and determine how to deal with Apophis. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium, guides students on this amazing adventure and provides information to help them as they figure out how to save our planet.


Video Excerpt:

 
 
This course can help you meet the following National Science Education Standards:
The National Science Education Standards present a vision of a scientifically literate populace.
They outline what students need to know, understand and be able to do in order to be scientifically literate at different grade levels.


NSE Standards in this course:

 
Middle School:
As a result of their activities in grades 5-8...
Content
Standard
...all students should develop:
A Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
An understanding of scientific inquiry
B An understanding of:
  • Properties and changes of properties in matter
  • Motions and forces
  • Transfer of energy
D An understanding of:
  • Structure of the earth system
  • Earth's history
  • Earth in the solar system
E
  • Abilities of technological design
  • Some understanding of science and technology
F
  • Personal health
  • Populations, resources and environments
  • Natural hazards
  • Risks and benefits
  • Science and technology in society
G An understanding of:
  • Science as a human endeavor
  • Nature of science
  • History of science
High School:
As a result of their activities in grades 9-12...
Content
Standard
...all students should develop:
A Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
An understanding of scientific inquiry
B An understanding of:
  • Structure of atoms
  • Structure and properties of matter
  • Chemical reactions
  • Motions and forces
  • Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
D An understanding of:
  • Energy in the earth system
  • Geochemical cycles
  • Origin and evolution of the earth system
E
  • Abilities of technological design
  • Some understanding of science and technology
G An understanding of:
  • Science as a human endeavor
  • Nature of science
  • Historical perspectives
 
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