The Sky Above by Dr. Stephen W. Hughes

The Sky Above Udemy

The udemy The Sky Above course taught by Professor Dr. Stephen W. Hughes is one of the most interesting about Teaching & Academics. That is why below we will give you the necessary information so that you can learn and be better professionals once you download The Sky Above

Practical demonstrations for teaching your students about the heavens

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Description about the The Sky Above course

As a science teacher it can be difficult to come up with engaging demonstrations for your students. This course presents ideas for hands-on classroom demonstrations that illustrate well-known celestial phenomena. Students have different learning styles and this course covers most of the bases – video, photos, diagrams and text. In this course, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) approach is taken. For example, a section is included on the basic mathematics of eclipses, which might be useful for teaching more advanced students in the upper years of high school. The course is structured with the simplest topics presented first and more challenging subjects later. The course contains 14 video lectures/demonstrations, and an eBook with a chapter dedicated to each topic. The diagrams and photos in the eBook have been packaged as a collection of PowerPoint slides that you can use in your teaching. A 30-question multiple choice quiz has been included at the end of the course so you can assess what you have learned. Feel free to use the quiz for your students. The course begins with a discussion of laser safety. Extensive use is made of lasers in the course and so it is important to discuss the safe use of lasers in the classroom. The first celestial phenomena dealt with in the course is the twinkling of the stars, demonstrated by shining a laser through a glass of water. One of the first questions that children ask is why the sky is blue, closely related to why sunsets are red, and so these two topics are dealt with early in the course. The red-sunset and blue-sky demonstrations would be suitable for younger students. When we look at the Sun and Moon in the sky, we imagine that they are relatively close to the Earth. However, they are much farther than we commonly suppose. I present ideas for giving students a feel for just how far the Sun and Moon are from the Earth. Before developing the demonstrations in this course, I had not appreciated the sheer scale of the Solar System. Solar and lunar eclipses are the number one and two most spectacular celestial phenomena visible with the naked eye from the Earth. However, there is often confusion about exactly what happens in eclipses. Hopefully the demonstrations will shed light on this subject. One of the more advanced topics in this course is why the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. A related issue is why the Moon changes shape throughout the month, i.e. has phases. A LED torch, ball and Lazy Susan is used to replicate the phases of the Moon as seen from the Earth. Another area of confusion is why it is warmer in the summer than winter. It is commonly supposed that this is because the Earth is closer to the Sun in summer than winter, but of course this cannot be true of both hemispheres. The seasons are due to the tilt of the rotation axis of the Earth. This is demonstrated using a globe, Lazy Susan and laser leveller. One of the most difficult subjects to understand is the origin of the tides. A large fraction of the Earth’s population lives near the coast, therefore it is good to teach students about the tides.

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About Dr. Stephen W. Hughes

Stephen Hughes has an honours degree (BSc) in Physics and Physiology (Queen Elizabeth College, University of London), MSc in Radiation Physics (University College London), PhD in Physics (King’s College London) and a Certificate IV in Learning and Assessment (Australian Regional Training Services). He has taught a wide range of university physics courses, in particular stellar astrophysics, and cosmology. In his classes he includes hands-on demonstrations to improve student engagement and learning.