2020 Online Astronomy Institute - Module 3: Romancing the Moon

The Moon takes a prominent role in cultures around the world. And yet, many people have misconceptions about phenomena related to this ubiquitous object. Lunar phases, solar eclipses, even knowing when to see the Moon are mysteries to many. Registration closes October 15. Full details below.


Of all the phenomena associated with the Moon,solar eclipses are the most rare.  On August 21, 2017, the Moon passed directly in front of the Sun, a phenomenon viewable throughout the country!  While the path of the total solar eclipse passed through many states coast to coast, the rest of the country was able to view a partial solar eclipse.  Lunar eclipses, while also relatively rare, are viewable over a much wider area.  Why is that?

In this module, you’ll learn how you can take advantage of these spectacular teachable moments, and engage your class and community in investigating and experiencing eclipses, and other phenomena associated with the Moon.

Workshop sessions will actively engage participants in an NGSS storyline approach to understanding the how and why of both solar and lunar eclipses.  Scaling and modeling the Sun-Earth-Moon system is essential to an understanding of many of these phenomena.

Appropriate for teaching grade levels 3-12.


Dates: November 17 - December 18, 2020

Times: Four live sessions on Tuesdays (November 24, December 1, 8, and 15), 4-5pm Pacific Time (7-8pm Eastern)

NGSS focus:

1-ESS1-1: Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

5-ESS1-2: Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

MS-ESS1-1: Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.

Details: Each module lasts five consecutive weeks, with 1-hour Zoom webinars offered weekly for four of these weeks. We use Google Groups to communicate and share documents.  Each module includes a Materials Kit that will be shipped directly to you at the Shipping Address you provide during Checkout. Please note: Shipping is included for the Continental U.S. If your ship-to address is Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, or International, we will contact you with the additional shipping fees.

Before the first and between the webinar sessions, you’ll engage in activities on your own time, including posting ideas and opinions in an online forum and engaging in assignments and activities related to the content.  You’ll also get a chance to try out the activities with your classes between the webinars and share your experiences.

Academic credits: Up to two semester units of academic credit available through The University of the Pacific for participants completing all six modules.  Those completing three modules are eligible for one semester unit of academic credit.


Save when you register for 2 or 3 modules.

Fall 2020 Module FEES

$100 per individual module

$180 for 2 module options

$250 for 3 module option

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You might like one of these:

Module 1: Exploring the Solar System

Module 2: Pinholes to Space Telescopes

Savings: Module 1,2 - Module 1,3 - Module 2,3 and Modules 1,2, and 3

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Registration Deadlines:

Registration closes August 15 for Modules 1, 1&2, 1&3 and 1,2 & 3 options

  Registration closes September 15 for Module 2 and Module 2&3 Options

Registration closes October 15 for Module 3 Option