Eric's Weekly Update 9-16-11

posted Sep 16, 2011, 10:29 AM by Cynthia Friedman
This week…
By this reading we will have had a lot of discussions about the universe. Naturally, this is a big topic and we can only really scratch the surface,
but we ARE scratching with vigor! We have discovered how stars (like ours) are born, grow up, and eventually die.
Their death thickens the cosmic soup, and makes everything else possible. We learned that we are made of stardust. How humbling and exciting at the same time.
We worked with the Bohr model to show how elements are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. It’s not a perfect model but it’s perfect for what we are trying to accomplish.
Finally, we discovered how truly huge stars can be.
Our sun is miniscule compared to other stars like Betelgeuse, a red super-giant in Orion. It’s not even the biggest. Do you know which is?

Next week and beyond…
Next week we will be learning about the basics of our own solar system, sizes and distances, the asteroid belt (mostly between Mars and Jupiter), and then a visit from Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist) by way of a Nova production called “Origins”. Before the week is out we will begin the second Great Lesson called The Story of the Coming of Life (or the Coming of the Earth, in some circles). With this lesson we begin our discussion of the 5 Kingdoms of Life, oceans, the hemispheres, and land-water features. We will also be doing some artwork relating to the solar system and landforms.

I will update you as soon as I hear from the Science Factory regarding our planned trip.
Eric and Adriene