Astrophysics - Unit Detail

Total duration

16 lessons, 1 hour each

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Lesson 7.1 – The challenge of exploring space

Learning outcomes

In this lesson students will explore:

Big ideas

Learning Sequence

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  1. Welcome students to this lesson and encourage several of the students new to this unit to introduce themselves to each other and the class.
  2. Investigation – Teacher introduces Activity (7.1.1) Prezi – Exploring the solar system and identifies some of the major findings that have been made as a result of interplanetary missions Investigation Teacher explores the recent successful mission to land the Rosetta space craft on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Resources
  3. Discussion – Students are invited to ask questions regarding the various missions discussed in the presentation. A key focus is identifying the potential purpose of each mission? Each mission is very expensive so the potential rewards need to be maximised. How do mission planners decide which mission has the most potential for funding? Resources

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  4. Collaboration – Students divide into smaller breakout groups with the purpose of planning a spacecraft mission to a planetary body in our solar system. What things do you need to consider?
  5. Breakout group’s work independently on this activity with teachers monitoring their progress and providing support as needed.
  6. Reflection – Students return to discuss their preliminary plans as a whole class.

Home Learning

  1. Students are given a secret encoded alien message to try and decode before the final class?
  2. Students can also explore the voyager mission spacecraft which has now been traveling for more than 35 years and contains 5hrs of sound recordings on a gold record and visual graphics showing how to locate its earthly origin. Resources