OpenStax Astronomy

Access, develop and share resources created by the OpenStax community that align with OpenStax Astronomy.
71 members | 27 affiliated resources

All resources in OpenStax Astronomy

Science Fiction Stories Based on Good Astronomy

(View Complete Item Description)

This is a guide to science fiction stories and novels which are based on reasonably good science (and can thus be recommended in introductory astronomy courses.) The stories are organized by astronomical topic. While most of the stories are available only in print, a number are now published electronically free of charge, and links to those are included.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Case Study

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Guide for Debunking Pseudo-Science Connected with Astronomy

(View Complete Item Description)

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: Student Guide

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Women in Astronomy

(View Complete Item Description)

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

A Guide to the August 21, 2017 “All-American” Eclipse of the Sun

(View Complete Item Description)

On August 21, 2017, there will be a total eclipse of the Sun visible from the U.S. (and only the US!) The path of what is being called the “All American” total eclipse is only about 60-70 miles wide and goes from a beach in Oregon to a beach in South Carolina, crossing the country diagonally. The partial eclipse will be visible to 500 million people in the other parts of the US and North America. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has made available a popular-level introduction to help explain the eclipse, and how to view it safely, to students and the public. The free 8-page booklet, in PDF format, is excerpted from the book Solar Science by Dennis Schatz and Andrew Fraknoi, which presents 45 hands-on activities that teachers and informal educators can use to teach about the Sun and eclipses.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment, Interactive

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

The Astronomy of Many Cultures

(View Complete Item Description)

This resource guide, for instructors and students in introductory astronomy courses, focuses on the contributions to astronomy of African, Asian, Hispanic, South Pacific, Islamic, and Native American cultures. It also contains a section on reports and articles for achieving greater diversity in science. Written by Andrew Fraknoi, the guide is part of a series sponsored by the Heliophysics Forum of the Space Missions Directorate at NASA. It includes written, on-line, and audio-visual materials, which can be used directly in the classroom, for student papers, or for personal enrichment.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Some Useful Websites to Obtain Astronomical Images

(View Complete Item Description)

This resource suggests some of the best places on the web for astronomy instructors to obtain high-quality images for showing in class (and gives the direct URL for obtaining the photos). It includes general sources, such as the Hubble image gallery and NASA’s Planetary Photojournal, as well as more specific sources for a particular observatory or wavelength range.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Distant Nature: Astronomy Exercises

(View Complete Item Description)

“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

Teaching Your First Astro 101 Course

(View Complete Item Description)

A simple zero-based course design process enables you to better organize your Astro 101 course and make it more understandable to students. This process covers establishing teaching goals, developing core ideas, determining student outcomes, and assessing learning.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Astronomy Star Project

(View Complete Item Description)

This is a project I assign my students in an introductory, non-science major astronomy class. Each student is assigned one of the 25 brightest stars in the sky and they are asked to research and apply concepts they have been learning in the class to their particular star. I leave it up to them to decide the format of their final project - most do PowerPoint but some have done videos or podcasts. One student actually landed a part time job at a radio station after they heard her recording her star project! Many students tell me this is a highlight of the course!

Material Type: Assessment

Author: Erik Christensen

The Planisphere

(View Complete Item Description)

This OER explores the basic operations of a Planisphere. It contains both an activity as well as resources for further exploration. It is a product of the OU Academy of the Lynx, developed in conjunction with the Galileo's World Exhibition at the University of Oklahoma.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Brent Purkaple, Kerry Magruder

Current Event in Astronomy

(View Complete Item Description)

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

(View Complete Item Description)

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