As schools and students have moved to online learning, the grade 9 science class is fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so with a fresh start on a new unit called Space Exploration. In this unit we started off by discussing the history of astronomical discovery and the important roles it has played in the evolution of our societies. We then moved on to exploring our own backyard by cataloging some of the characteristics of the planets in our solar system by exploring NASA’s planetary website.
After we were done in our own backyard, we ventured farther and father out into the universe, looking at all of the vast structures it has to offer. Eventually we spent an entire class talking about stars, their characteristics and how they live and end their ‘lives’. Upon learning about stars, we went back into deep space and learned about various astronomical phenomena, from those close to us such as solar and lunar eclipses, to the more exotic ones such as black holes, quasars, and pulsars. We ended the unit by discussing the various challenges of exploring space which prepared students for their mission to Mars assignment.