All resources in OpenStax Astronomy

Guide for Debunking Pseudo-Science Connected with Astronomy

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In this guide, you will find books, articles, and websites that help teachers of astronomy address some of the weird topics on the fringes of science that students sometimes hear about and want to have clarification for. Included are astrology, UFOs as alien spaceships, crop circles, denial of evolution and the big bang, the “face” on Mars, claims that NASA never landed astronauts on the Moon, and others.

Material Type: Homework/Assignment, Student Guide, Syllabus

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Distant Nature: Astronomy Exercises

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“Distant Nature: Astronomy Exercises” is a basic set of Open Educational Resource based astronomy exercises designed to be used as instructional aids in conjunction with textbooks and/or live observational exercises. These Exercises utilize the free planetarium software Stellarium.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment

Author: Stephen Tuttle

Current Event in Astronomy

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In an effort to raise awareness of astronomical developments, I have students search newspapers or online for any recent astronomical-related story and provide a photo and a short summary of the article including why they think it is important and I ask them to identify specially which chapter of the textbook deals with their story. I do this early in the semester as a way of getting students to become more familiar with the textbook and to try to get them to become lifelong learners and be in the habit of looking for current events related to astronomy.

Material Type: Homework/Assignment, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Erik Christensen

OpenStax Astronomy Slide Presentations in pdf form

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The slideshows that go with OpenStax Astronomy are PowerPoint, which is great for editing and improving, but a bit awkward for instructors who need to load MS PowerPoint in order to present. I used the cc-by license to place them on Wikiversity. I also invite others to collaborate on developing OpenStax materials on Wikiversity and/or Miraheze.

Material Type: Lecture, Lecture Notes, Student Guide

Author: The authors of OpenStax Astronomy

Introduction To Astronomy (ASTR 101)

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This course provides an introduction to the universe beyond the Earth. We begin with a study of the night sky and the history of the science of astronomy. We then explore the various objects seen in the cosmos including the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the evolution of the universe itself. As an online course, it is equivalent to 6 lecture hours, and satisfies science requirements for the AA and AS degree. It is designed to be thorough enough to prepare you for more advanced work, while presenting the concepts to non-majors in a way that is meaningful and not overwhelming. We will consider the course a success if you have learned how to think about the universe critically in an organized, logical way, and to have enhanced your appreciation of the sky around us.

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Reading, Syllabus

Earth Science

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Earth science is the study of our home planet and all of its components: its lands, waters, atmosphere, and interior. In this book, some chapters are devoted to the processes that shape the lands and impact people. Other chapters depict the processes of the atmosphere and its relationship to the planet’s surface and all our living creatures. For as long as people have been on the planet, humans have had to live within Earth’s boundaries. Now human life is having a profound effect on the planet. Several chapters are devoted to the effect people have on the planet. Chapters at the end of the book will explore the universe beyond Earth: planets and their satellites, stars, galaxies, and beyond.

Material Type: Full Course, Textbook


Women in Astronomy

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This is a guide for Astronomy 101 instructors (and other educators) on the issues that have faced women in astronomy and the work of some of the women who can serve as role models for the next generation. Written by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College), it is part of a series called “Unheard Voices,” sponsored by the Heliophysics Forum of the Space Missions Directorate at NASA. The guide includes written, on-line, and audio-visual materials, many of which can be used directly in the classroom or for student papers. It features sections on: the history of women in astronomy in general, materials on selected women astronomers of the past, issues facing women in astronomy today, and materials on selected contemporary women astronomers.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Star Concept Connection Cards

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These concept connection cards can be used in small groups or for self study. They help students build an understanding of three core topics in astronomy -- the HR diagram, light, and fusion. The file includes instructions for usage, as well as cards in multiple formats. They were created by Kaisa Young from Nicholls State University.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: OpenStax, Rice University

Short Astronomy Videos to Use with Each Chapter of OpenStax Astronomy

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This listing includes a wide range of short videos (15 minutes or less) that can be used in introductory astronomy courses.  It is organized by the chapter topics in the OpenStax Astronomy textbook.  We don’t include simulations.  To suggest other video that you have found particularly useful for Astro 101 courses, please drop a line to the compiler at:

Material Type: Lesson, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Black Lives in Astronomy

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This focused resource guide, "Black Lives in Astronomy," includes specific written and video resources about and by 25 black astronomers, as well as general materials to examine the history and issues facing black members of the astronomical community. It includes both older, established scientists and people early in their careers. It is aimed at the Astro 101 and amateur astronomer level, and thus does not include any technical materials. I hope this resource will give instructors and students examples of authentic black voices that can be shown in class or used in assignments.

Material Type: Case Study, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Student Guide

Author: Andrew Fraknoi