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Online Science $25.00 - $25.00

Roadmap to the Stars: The Night Sky Explained

  • Ages:
    Gradeschooler, Teen

When you wish upon a star, wouldn’t it be good to know which star it is and what constellation it lies in? Objects in the night sky can be pinpointed with a little understanding of the celestial sphere and its coordinates. Hands-on activities using star charts will serve to bring the point home.

Purpose: This class is based on an appreciation and understanding of the night sky and how to locate objects within it. To accomplish this aim, concepts are developed with reference to circles and angular distances within and across constellation boundaries around the earth.

Teaching Method: Screen sharing using an MS PowerPoint slides with incredible images and exciting video clips. Clarifying questions can be asked through live interaction, and time for addressing in depth questions submitted via the chat box will be given at the end of the slides.

Materials: The provided PDF packet must be printed BEFORE the class. It includes a Daily Observation Log with instructions for the student to record their own observations of the night sky in their back yard or a nearby park or schoolyard as a homework assignment. It also includes some STEM hands-on activities described by topic below. Students will need a pen or pencil to write and draw with.

Topics Include:
• Celestial sphere and angular measurements
• Celestial coordinates of right ascension and declination
• Using star charts
• Sidereal motion
• Messier objects

Earth’s Place in the Universe
Using an orrery and other digitally graphic mechanical models of the solar system, galaxy and universe, positions and motions according to the heliocentric model are represented.

The Universe and Its Stars
Stellar birth, evolution, death, size, brightness, color, number and distribution are illustrated in a variety of ways, including their distances and patterns formed in the sky with asterisms and constellations.


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Value for Money

Provider Kevin Manning


I teach exciting astronomy classes about different aspects of the universe using incredible photos, awesome video clips, and fun STEM hands-on activities. I am an astronomer and science educator with lots of experience who has been a consultant for NASA and worked with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (space telescope) with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I was both a Wright Fellow at Tufts University and an Einstein Fellow working with NASA Headquarters, the US House of Representatives, and the US Dept of Energy Office of Science on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and did some work with Brookhaven National Laboratory. Besides the numerous workshops I've presented over the years, some noteworthy ones include those made at Tufts University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, the National Science Teachers Association's National Convention, American Association for the Advancement of Science Breakfast with Scientists, and the National Parks Service. I'm an author and written some books on astronomy including 4 of them for children as a content specialist for Scholastic. Teaching is an art and requires patience and a thorough understanding of the subject to be able to help someone learn using various approaches and learning styles. I feel it's important to be yourself and add a little humor because that has been shown through research to help an individual relax and learn better. I love working with wood and have used it to build telescopes including one that is over ten-feet long.

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Now Closed

Opening Hours

  • Monday 02:00 PM - 02:55 PM
  • Tuesday 02:00 PM - 02:55 PM
  • Wednesday 02:00 PM - 02:55 PM
  • Thursday 02:00 PM - 02:55 PM
  • Friday 02:00 PM - 02:55 PM
  • SaturdayClosed
  • SundayClosed