Astronomy 10

In Fall 2004 I was one of 12 GSIs for Alex Filippenko's course in Introductory Astronomy (Astro 10) at U.C. Berkeley, and in 2005 and 2006 I returned to the course as head GSI. I tried to run a worksheet-focused section, dividing the students into groups of 3-5 and having them work through sample problems to try to give them direct experience with the concepts discussed in lecture. This approach (which was strongly recommended to me by the older graduate students in the program) had fairly good results, with a few caveats - the brighter, more enthusiastic, and younger students seemed to really appreciate the chance to solve real astronomy problems (even if it involved extra work for them); other students were less enthsiastic and probably did not get as much out of the worksheets. I have since re-used this method in many other classes.

Below are all the major documents I used during my three years involved with teaching the course. I reused some documents but not others during my second and third years of teaching (choosing to replace them with different activities); revised versions are posted where possible. Worksheets were prepared in MS Word; I have included both the pdf printout and the source document.

Please report any broken links or any problems with the worksheets to Dan!

Week 1: Questions about Astronomy
Syllabus (source)
Worksheet: Astronomy and the Scientific Method (source)

Week 2: Electromagnetic Radiation I
Handout: Light and Color (source)
Worksheet: The Electromagnetic Spectrum (source)
Worksheet: Just How Fast is Light? (source) - never used

Week 3: Electromagnetic Radiation II
Handout: Blackbodies and Spectral Lines (source)
Worksheet: Blackbody and Emission-Line Spectra (source)

Week 4: Phases of the Moon
Quiz 1 (not online for security)
Worksheet: Lunar Phases (source)

Week 5: The Solar System
Worksheet: The Celestial Sphere - Lost at Sea (source)
Worksheet: The Great Debate (source) - never used
Worksheet: Orbit Lab (source, gravtut, SSMS 2.0, Planets Orbits)

Midterm 1 Review
Review sheet

Week 6: The Sun
Midsemester Evaluation Form (2004) (source)
Midsemester Evaluation Form (2006) (source)
Worksheet: The Great Ball of Fire (source)
Worksheet: You Are My Sunshine (source) (never used)

Week 7: Measuring Stars
Handout: Measuring the Properties of Stars (source)
Worksheet: Constructing a Temperature-Luminosity Diagram (source, example, key, source data)

Week 8: Solar Evolution
Quiz 2 (not online for security)
Worksheet: Solar Evolution and the Ultimate Destruction of Life on Earth (source, key)

Week 9: Stellar Evolution
Handout: Stellar Evolution - Starbirth to Stardeath (source)
The Fates of Stars (source)
Activity: Student Simulation of an Evolving HR Diagram (slips, source data)

Midterm 2 Review

Week 10: Extragalactic Astronomy and Hubble's Law
Worksheet: Mapping the Cosmos (source)
Worksheet: Hubble's Law and the Expansion of the Universe (galaxies, source, key)

Week 11: Supermassive Black Holes
Worksheet: Star Track 2 - The Search for a Supermassive Black Hole (source, key)
Worksheet: The Big Mama in M104 (source, key)

Week 12: Cosmology
Worksheet: Dating the Universe (source)
Worksheet: Mists of Time (source)
Worksheet: Light Energy, Dark Energy (source, key)

Final Review

Astro 300 Project
Cosmic String: Cosmological Time in Perspective (source)