Showing posts with label universe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label universe. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Big History Project

The Big History Project is a free, online social studies course for middle and high school students. It can be taught over the course of a semester or an entire year. Teachers can use the teacher-generated lessons, which are aligned with the Common Core, or they can create their own using the content library.

The Big History Project was co-founded by Bill Gates and David Christian and it has grown to include teachers and scholars. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach to answer the big questions about the history of our universe and the origin of our species. The goal is to help students see the big picture and how all of the parts fit together.

To use this course, teachers need to create an account then add students by providing them with a join code or emailing them an invitation to join the class. Some examples of units for this course include The Big Bang, Stars & Elements, Early Humans, Agriculture & Civilization, and Expansion & Interconnection.

Applications for Education
Teachers can use all of this course or pull bits and pieces from it. While it is classified as a social studies course, many of the units could be used in science classes. Advanced students who need challenging work would appreciate this course.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

How Big Is The Sun? - And Five Other Lessons on the Size of the Universe

We had a beautiful winter sunset here in Woodstock, Maine tonight. It was a nice ending to a relaxing weekend. Watching the sunset while I was thinking about the week ahead prompted this post about the size of the sun and the scale of the universe.

How Big Is The Sun? is a short video that was released by Minute Physics. The video does a good job of putting the size of the sun into perspective that most students of middle school age or older should be able to understand.


The Scale of the Universe 2 features a huge selection of objects in the universe that are arranged according to size and scale. You can zoom-in on the image to objects as small as neutrinos and quarks or as large as planets, constellations, and galaxies. When you click on an object in The Scale of the Universe 2 a small window of information about that object pops up.


3D Solar System Web is a neat website that I discovered through the Chrome web store. 3D Solar System Web features a narrated tour of the solar system beginning at the sun and working out through all of the planets. The tour explains the classifications of each planet, how long it takes each planet to orbit the sun, and each planet's unique features.

Magnifying the Universe is an interactive infographic that allows you to see the size of atoms, animals, buildings, mountains, planets, stars, and galaxies in relation to other objects in the universe.

100,000 Stars is a Google Chrome Web GL Experiment that does a good job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. 100,000 Stars is a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. You can view the stars on your own or take an automated tour of the stars. that also does a good job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. 100,000 Stars is a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. You can view the stars on your own or take an automated tour of the stars. 

The Known Universe is a six minute video tour of the known universe that starts with Earth's biggest mountains in the Himalaya and zooms out from there. Watch the video below.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How Big Is Space? - This Infographic Can Show You

In the past I've shared a handful of infographics and videos designed to help students understand the size of the universe and the scale of objects within it. How Big Is Space? is another good infographic to add to that list.

How Big Is Space? is an animated infographic produced by the BBC. As you scroll through the infographic a little rocket moves with you. The rocket passes objects as you scroll. You'll scroll past commercial airplane altitude and the altitude of the highest sky dive. Then you'll leave Earth's atmosphere as start to scroll past satellites, the moon, and planets. The infographic ends with a fun fact; It would take you about 23 million years of continuous scrolling on this scale to get the farthest regions of the observable universe.

Applications for Education
As students move through this infographic they might feel like they have been scrolling for a long time. I certainly felt that way as I scrolled through it. After all that scrolling the fact at the end about how long it would take to travel to the farthest regions of the universe really drives home the point about the size of the observable universe.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How Far Is It To Mars? An Infographic

How Far Is It To Mars? is a neat infographic that provides a pixel scale to show you how far it is from Earth to the Moon and the distance from Earth to Mars. The infographic is a motion infographic so you have to click on it to make it move. The distances are represented by pixels. After you get to the moon on the infographic click it again then sit back and watch as it takes a while to scroll to Mars.

Applications for Education
How Far Is It To Mars? could be a nice resource for showing students the scale of the universe. You might consider pairing it with one of these five resources for showing students the scale of universe.

H/T to Cool Infographics

Friday, March 15, 2013

5 Resources to Help Students Understand the Size of the Universe

Sometimes when I take my dogs outside on a cold clear night in Maine I look up at the sky and I try to wrap my head around the size of the universe. Tonight was one of those times. Over the last couple of years I've shared some resources that can help viewers understand the scale of things in the universe, here they are.

The Scale of the Universe 2 features a huge selection of objects in the universe that are arranged according to size and scale. You can zoom-in on the image to objects as small as neutrinos and quarks or as large as planets, constellations, and galaxies. When you click on an object in The Scale of the Universe 2 a small window of information about that object pops up.


3D Solar System Web is a neat website that I discovered through the Chrome web store. 3D Solar System Web features a narrated tour of the solar system beginning at the sun and working out through all of the planets. The tour explains the classifications of each planet, how long it takes each planet to orbit the sun, and each planet's unique features.

Magnifying the Universe is an interactive infographic that allows you to see the size of atoms, animals, buildings, mountains, planets, stars, and galaxies in relation to other objects in the universe.

100,000 Stars is a Google Chrome Web GL Experiment that does a good job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. 100,000 Stars is a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. You can view the stars on your own or take an automated tour of the stars. that also does a good job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. 100,000 Stars is a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. You can view the stars on your own or take an automated tour of the stars. 

The Known Universe is a six minute video tour of the known universe that starts with Earth's biggest mountains in the Himalaya and zooms out from there. Watch the video below.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

100,000 Stars Puts the Universe in Perspective

Last week I shared a six minute video tour of the known universe. That video does a great job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. Today, through Google Maps Mania I found a new Google Chrome Web GL Experiment called 100,000 Stars that also does a good job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. 100,000 Stars is a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. You can view the stars on your own or take an automated tour of the stars.

Applications for Education
The 100,000 Stars tour does a great job of putting distances between stars and planets into a perspective that students can understand.

100,000 Stars uses Web GL technology and you will have to use Google Chrome to view the tour correctly.