**ESTIMATED TIME TO COMPLETE:** Two 50-minute class periods

**MODULE OBJECTIVES:**

- Students will be able to explain interstellar distances using scale models and use the light year as a unit of distance.

- The distance between stars is very large. Distance units and measurement, scales and ratios.

- The student will use a variety of resources to identify techniques used to investigate Earth and the Universe.
- The student will know how to use measurements of different orders of magnitude to construct an earth science model.

- Image Presentation
- Information Searches
- Parallel Problem Solving

Components |
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Engagement |
Warm Up Activities: Students are asked to speculate on how long it takes the light of the sun to get to Earth. | Individual or small groups | Overhead projector (OP) or PowerPoint (PP) to post the Warm Up questions. |

Exploration |
Discussion of student answers and computation of the distance to the sun in light-minutes. Construct a graph relating distance in km to light years.
Problem-Solving Activity (PSA): How long would it take for a ship traveling at the same speed as Voyager II to get to the nearest star? |
Individual or small groups | OP or PP to show images of
the sun
and of a graph relating distance in km to distance in light minutes.
Graph paper or software to produce a graph. Textbook or directed WWW search to answer Problem questions. Sites used: Voyager Mission Home Page Stellar Distances |

Explanation |
Presentation and discussion of student work. | Individual or small groups | OP or monitor to show images of the sun and nearby stars. |

Extension |
Follow-up research about the Voyager missions or other robotic missions of space exploration. |
Small groups | Sites used:
Voyager Mission Home Page |

Evaluation |
Students will be evaluated based on their graph and their answers to the PSA. | Individual (all students submit their own work and answers based on their collaboration) | Rubrics for graphing |

**EXPECTED MODULE OUTCOMES: **

- Students will collaborate to produce a graph relating light years to kilometers and answer questions related to the Problem-Solving Activity.
- From this collaboration, they will be able to meet the module objectives.

- Students will be able to describe the enormous distances between stars as shown by their work on the PSA.

Unit Description

Modules: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8