Topics in Astronomy
How fast is the speed of light? How big is the solar system? Solar system to universe: What is really out there? What is up with Jupiter & it’s many moons? Join Blair Lee for a 3-week session focused on topics in astronomy. Your children will use hands-on investigation and scientific modeling learn the answers to these questions, all the while they will work on science skills and lab technique.
Topics in Astronomy is one of the 4 Sessions in the Elementary Level Science Series. Each session of the Elementary Level Science Series meets 3 times over a span of 3 weeks. Each 3-week Session includes important, foundational science topics, scientific modeling, focused definitions of core science terms and phrases all in an engaging, high-interest format.
Each Session of the Elementary Level Science Series has hands-on labs that have been thoughtfully paired with written materials. Materials will be emailed 2-weeks before the class meets with guided readings, materials list, lab instructions as well as suggestions for extra activities and how to use the topics and material for project-based unit studies. During the live sessions, students can ask questions as we go over the material. Then we will work on an lab/activity as a class. Classes will be taped for anyone unable to attend a class.
* Lab materials will be inexpensive and easy to obtain.
Usually 2-3 hours per week of work, including class.
The Weekly Schedule
There are 3 meetings (1 per week for 3 weeks) covering a different topic in astronomy each week.
In this 3-week series students will look at how investigations done on Earth are used to form scientific models for the Universe. In week 3, students will be encouraged to share about one of Jupiter’s moon.
Week 1: Solar System Measurements – How Big is the Solar System? How Fast Is Light? From infrared to radio waves, how big (or small) is a wavelength?
The speed of light is fast? How fast are a cheetah, a snail, and you compared to it? Let’s have a race and find out. After investigating the speed of light students will learn how that is used to make measurements. The measurements made for students will be included as we investigate how long it would take light to get places if it moved at our speed.
Week 2: Mapping the Night Sky through Earth’s Rotation
You might not feel it, but Earth is moving fast as it rotates and revolves through the solar system. Humans have known this for millennia. This week we will learn how the night sky changes over the course of the year. We will make a star map in class. We will also investigate how long a day is on each planet.
Week 3: The Moons of Jupiter
Galileo first sighted the moons of Jupiter in about 1610. Since then another 75 moons have been discovered. Four of these moons are larger than any of the dwarf planets, including Pluto. One of them, Ganymede is even larger than Mercury. We will also look at the relationship between gravity and Jupiter’s moons.
Students will gain an understanding of the solar system
Students will learn some of the science explaining light and radiation
Students will learn about the atmosphere surrounding Venus and be able to make some predictive statements about the atmosphere of other planets using scientific analysis
Students will learn about the moons of Jupiter, the concept of size to gravity, and tidal friction
Students will learn important on topic vocabulary
Students will learn lab technique
Students will gain an understanding of the scientific method
Families and learners are welcome to share any information about their individual learning preferences and needs and instructor will make accommodations that are helpful to the class.
Supplies Week 1
- Frozen pea (or something of that size)
- String or Yarn measured to 42.5 inches
- Tape measure
- Timer (your phone will work for this)
- Measuring tape
Supplies Week 2
- 2 Balloons
- Orange (or another roundish fruit of any size)
- Pea (or small ball of clay)
- Ruler – (it is optional, but nice, if it has centimeters and inches)
Supplies Week 3
- 10-inch piece of copper wire OR another type metal wire that conducts charge. A metal coat hanger will work, but those are so stiff that is can be really hard for younger students to move the wire back-and-forth.
- Students will need the supplies to make a model of their favorite of Jupiter’s moons.
To interact in class: Live sessions will be best experienced with a camera and microphone. Parents will need a Zoom account (free).
Blair Lee, M.S.
Blair’s goal through her speaking and writing is to empower educators to dare to be innovative and create something unique and academically-rich when handcrafting their child’s journey through learning.
I just feel like everyone should know how incredible these classes are
We have thoroughly enjoyed ancient history with Sam Matalone Cook and would love to continue following the history courses under her instruction. Michelle’s writing workshop was a welcomed addition to our semester and the ease of adding on a quick workshop to the semester was appreciated. I do wish that I could take classes, too. The great selection makes me jealous; Fairy Tales and Feminism would be so incredible to join in and to learn with Sam! And the LGBTQ+ history and US courses! Blair’s enthusiasm for science comes across strongly and is encouraging for the young learners. So many great classes- so little time.
Sheila and Elisa
So many great classes- so little time.
From homeschooling parent classes to learn how to best guide our learners to outsourcing subject classes with passionate teachers, SEA Online Classes have been a vital part of our homeschooling journey. I am so grateful for the variety of subjects offered and for the wonderful team making it all happen. We are happy to support SEA online classes, where we hope to be learning for years to come! Outsourcing some of our subjects has been a positive change to our homeschooling curriculum. It has allowed myself and children to stay on target this year and I’m very appreciative of the teachers and this forum for our learning. Sheila
I am so grateful for the variety of subjects offered and for the wonderful team making it all happen
SEA online classes have a way about them that ENCOURAGES my child in a way that I know that EVERY instructor will bring my child to life, and empower my child to work harder as she WANTS to do her best. I never worry about a teacher who shames or uses cohesion in class. That is a gift! SEA has teachers of very high character and professionalism.
SEA has teachers of very high character and professionalism
Biology 2 has been a well structured class. The course content and materials cover the subject well and the weekly meetings have been welcomed for continuity. Blair’s enthusiasm for the subject comes across strongly and is encouraging for the young learners. Sheila and Elisa
Biology 2 has been a well structured class
From the student: The instructors made the material, which might sound bland and boring, super fun. Blair is an exciting teacher who is clearly very enthusiastic about her work.
From the parent: Blair is very supportive of her students and was prompt with communication if we ever needed anything outside of class hours. I would recommend her classes to anyone!
Rachel and Carlos
Blair is an exciting teacher who is clearly very enthusiastic about her work.
Blair really brings the subject to life when she teaches. My daughter can’t help but be so excited about the topic she is hearing about from Blair! Marine Biology has such amazing nuances on the amazing creatures of the ocean. I found myself wanting to listen in on my daughters class, as I LOVED hearing so many cool things about kelp, and endangered species. My daughter leads the way when it is time for this class. (and not all her classes) She gets to class early to chit chat and see her instructors and LOVES learning in such a safe, and fun environment. Colleen and Millie
Blair really brings the subject to life when she teaches
Loved the Interactive part. My learner is very social (can get distracted/be distracting) but the teacher was good at letting her meet her social needs and gently redirecting when needed. My daughter is very engaged in the content and enjoys the live and interactive format of the classes. Blair Lee does a great job with these classes. Erika and Hazel
Loved the Interactive part
The dog communication lab was really fun. It was the best online class I’ve ever had. My daughter had an excellent experience with Blair in the Wolves class. She was always very excited to login to each class, and came running out with a smile and tons of facts to share after each session. Would absolutely recommend it. We look forward to her next classes!
Kate and Alice
It was the best online class I’ve ever had.
Annabelle looked forward to taking Blair’s Marine Science classes every week. She was so excited to contribute to the discussions and really felt empowered by how Blair and Alison interact with the learners. Annabelle now feels more confident sharing her marine science knowledge with family, friends and really anyone that will listen. It also reignited a passion to save marine life. Annabelle felt so proud of the reports she completed and presented to the class. That was also thanks to the enthusiasm, love and support given to her by her AMAZING teachers. Thank you Blair and Alison!!! Annabelle is always engaged and learning. I love how real terminology is used and learned. No dumbing down. High expectations that all seem to meet! Blair and Alison are so kind and really engage with each learner and make sure everyone is seen, heard and valued.
Yvonne and Annabelle