2020 Online Astronomy Institute - Module 4: Revealing the Universe

The universe is beautiful and vast, almost beyond comprehension. Images from the Hubble Space Telescope and other great observatories, reveal phenomena once completely hidden to us, providing astronomers with insight into the nature of the stars, nebulae, galaxies, black holes, and other objects in the cosmos. Complete details below.

Registration Opens in the Fall


What are these phenomena and why are they important?  What can knowledge about the objects in the universe we share tell us about our lives here on Earth?  How are they relevant?  What sort of analogous and common phenomena can we invoke to help learners understand more about the workings of the universe?

Appropriate for teaching grade levels 3-12.

Dates: January 5 - February 5, 2021

Times: Four live sessions on Tuesdays (January 12, 19, 26, and February 2), 4-5pm Pacific Time (7-8pm Eastern)


NGSS focus: 

5-PS2-1: Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.

5-ESS1-1: Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

MS-ESS1-2: Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. 

HS-ESS1-2: Construct an explanation of the Big Bang theory based on astronomical evidence of light spectra, motion of distant galaxies, and composition of matter in the universe.

HS-ESS1-4: Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.

Details: Each module lasts five consecutive weeks, with 1-hour webinars offered weekly for four of these weeks.  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.