Make a Telescope!
Day Four- Science Lesson
Topic: Lab Day- Making Telescopes
Students will be able to show through the building of a telescope what they have learned about technology in modern astronomy
Students will be able to construct and use a simple refracting telescope
Students will be able to evaluate the design of their telescopes
Students will be able to redesign their telescopes to improve performance
Students will be able to communicate the importance of each part to a telescope
Two paper towel tubes of slightly different diameters
Several plastic objective lenses (obtained from teacher’s catalog Nasco Science)
Several plastic eyepiece lenses (obtained from teacher’s catalog Nasco Science)
Foam holder for eyepiece (obtained from teacher’s catalog Nasco Science)
Transparent tape (scotch tape)
When the students walk into class, there will be a telescope that I have made at the front of the room. One corner of the room will be set up with stars and constellations so when they look through it, they will be able to see an actual night sky.
After all the students have seated themselves, I will ask them if they know what this object is that I am holding.
When they answer correctly, each student will have the chance to come look through it at our “Night Sky” while they are making their own telescopes.
After a few of the students have been able to look through the telescope, they will all sit back down in their seats. I will then ask them what they saw and why? How was it possible to see so clearly through something that I made out of my own materials from home? (The lenses are a key factor in making the telescopes so clear to look through.)
I will then quickly review what we have learned in the previous couple of days about telescopes and how they work. We will go over the different types of telescopes and the many parts each telescope is made of.
The students will now have an opportunity to make their own telescope. Each student will get a set of materials that have been divided up prior to class. There will be extras with the teacher just in case something goes wrong.
With the materials will be a set of directions that the students will need to follow. They will need to perform this lab on their own, but they are encouraged to share ideas with other students along the way.
While students are constructing
their telescopes by following the directions, they will need to
worksheet and pencil close by.
They will jot down the importance of each part to the
telescope while they are making it.
They will also be able to communicate what each part does
and why it is so important to the telescope as a whole.
They can use drawings to show the specific parts they are
talking about and then write the importance of that part right
next to their drawing.
After the children have finished their telescopes, they will take it and look at our “Night Sky” again, located in one corner of the room. They will take turns, go to the corner of the room, and observe the “Night Sky”. They will then try describing what they are seeing with a partner. There will be stars, constellations, galaxies, comets, asteroids all around the room. They will try to see if they can identify one from another to get them ready for the upcoming lessons.
This will get them thinking about the different types of things that are out in space that we may never think about. It will also help engage them for the next lessons by wondering why some stars are bigger and brighter than others.
The students will use their new and improved telescopes they have made during class over the next five days outside. They will record how differently they can see certain things. They will use their telescopes during the day and at night so they know how they work in both settings. They will then record answers to the questions on the sheet handed out to them.
Students can try to think of better things to add to their telescopes to try and make them even better. They will most likely have more materials at home, so they can use whatever they can get their hands on to make a better telescope. When they think they have done it, they will need to test their telescope out. They can make a compare and contrast list between all the telescopes they have made and make a final conclusion on which one is the best overall. They can also present these findings to the whole class if they wish to do so.
The ‘Five Day Test’ that the students do at home outside of class will help me realize if they are using their telescopes correctly and if they understand how a telescope works. The students will fill the worksheet out and hand in when the five days are over. This will be a graded assignment.
I will be able to watch them during class when making the telescopes to know if they understand what they need to, and they are welcome to ask questions whenever they need to.
The students’ journaling about the different parts of the telescope, how they work, and what they look like will help me know if they have learned what I want them to during the lesson.
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