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Learning Exercise

Material: What's a light year?
Submitted by: Cathi Graves Tudman on Jun 26, 2006
Date Last Modified: Jun 26, 2006
Title: What is a light year?
Description: Great conversion chart for students to understand the distances expressed in lightyears by converting that to kilometers and miles.
Type of Task: Student-centered, Supplemental activity, Team
Time Required One 90 minute period & homework for that which is not done.
Topics: CA Science Standard 4 (c) & 9 (d)
Earth in the Solar Systerm
(measuring distances) & (use math to organize)
Course: 8th Grade Physical Science
Audience: College General Ed, High School, Middle School
Prerequisites Skills: Reading (ELD III or higher), mathematics (conversions), basic compter facility, ability to chart data
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to figure distances between celestial objects in known units of measure (very large numbers) to facilitate the use of the term light year.
Technical Notes: Review math conversions, discuss scientific notation, provide calculators.
Text of Learning Exercise: 1. Students as groups at their tables will look at a map of Fresno and
determine distances between school and several known locations. What is the
best unit of measure (feet, miles, kilometers)?
2. Next, determine the distance between Fresno and places in the state.
3. Now, determine the distance between Fresno and places in the country.
4. List findings on board.
5. The determination of distance next jumps off the planet and must be measured
betweena the Earth and the Moon, other planets and nearest star. Convert from
kilometers to light years.
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