Constellation Connections

Star charts and planisphere used in Constellation Connections program
Star charts and planisphere used in Constellation Connections program

NPS photo

Constellation Connections online request form

Level: 4th-12th grade
Group Size: Min 10 students, max 1 Class (@30)
Program Length: 1 hour
Program Requirements: A standard classroom that has space to present a digital slideshow presentation. Computer, projector, and screen can either be provided by the school or by the ranger.

Program Description: Students develop an understanding of astronomy basics and learn how to explore the patterns of the galaxy through visuals and hands-on activities. Participants build a planisphere (star chart) and learn how to use it to find their way around the night sky and locate constellations at various times during the year.

Key Concepts: Patterns, observation, Earth's movements in space

Constellation Connections online request form

 
Photo of the asterism Pleiades: white spots of stars on a black background.
Scoping the Sisters (The Pleiades)

NASA/JPL photo

Education Standards Addressed by this Program

Fourth Grade Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns

  • Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.

Fourth Grade Common Core

RI.4.7: Interpret information presented visually and orally

W.4.8: Recall relevant information from experiences

Fifth Grade Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

ESS1.A The Universe and Its Stars

  • The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer. Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth.

ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System

  • The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year.

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns

  • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort, classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena.

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

  • Natural objects exist from the very small to the immensely large.

Fifth Grade Common Core

MP.2: Reason abstractly

Middle School (6th-8th Grade) Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

  • Use a model to describe phenomena.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars

  • Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, predicted, and explained with models.

ESS1.B (partial)

  • Earth’s spin axis is fixed in direction over the short-term but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year.

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns

  • Patterns can be used to identify cause and-effect relationships.

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

  • Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.

Systems and System Models

  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions.

Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems

  • Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation.

Middle School Common Core

MP.2: Reason abstractly

High School (9th-12th Grade) Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns

  • Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

Last updated: January 5, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
1008 Crest Drive

Coulee Dam, WA 99116

Phone:

(509) 754-7800

Contact Us