Astrophysics - Unit Detail

Total duration

16 lessons, 1 hour each

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Lesson 1.2 – Origins and fates of the Universe

Learning outcomes

In this lesson students will investigate:

Big ideas

Learning Sequence

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  1. Welcome students to second lesson and encourage several of the students new to this unit to introduce themselves to each other and the class.
  2. Collaboration – Students to indicate what topics of interest led them to enrol in the unit. Students are given a link to the tool, in the chat box. Students write their own definition for the Universe using a Think, Pair, Share activity for class review. Resources

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    Movie: Using Padlet (3:46mins)

  3. Investigation – Teacher leads discussion using Prezi 1.2.1 and considers the student definitions to develop a scientifically acceptable definition for the Universe. General discussion of the Origins of the Universe (Big Bang Theory Vs Steady State) and the evidence supporting the currently accepted theory. Resources
  4. Investigation – Use YouTube clip 1.2.3 - What is a dimension? Include board work using camera switch – run discussion of the curvature of space and how we need to think beyond 3 Dimensions when discussing the possible nature of the Universe. Resources
  5. Investigation – Teacher led discussion of the possible fates of the Universe based on the 3 main shapes (flat, spherical or hyperbolic) and currently accepted theory based on research by Australian Astrophysicist Brian Schmidt. (Nobel prize 2011). Balloon demonstration – draw stars on balloon to show how the distance between objects increases as the universe expands.

Home Learning

  1. Explore Brian Schmidt website Activity (1.2.4) and view answer the following questions in your NVSES Blog: Q- Brian Schmidt won a Nobel Prize for Physics by demonstrating evidence that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating. Explain how he came to this conclusion and what implications it might have for the future of the Universe? Resources