Astronomy

The goal of introducing “Astronomy” to kids (ten years of age and older) is to expose them to the basics of astronomy by providing historical context and easier to grasp comparisons and analogies. It also provides links to images, videos and other web resources, where appropriate. (The material on Stars is more advanced but should still be accessible with parental guidance.) The entire current set of presentations in MS Powerpoint is linked to this Web page, and is also hosted at:

http://www.cs.wright.edu/~tkprasad/assortedbookmarks.html

                An overview of the content of the presentations follows.
(1) Space Time Coordinates: This lecture introduces our place in the universe, easier to grasp comparisons for distances, sizes, and time scales. 
(2) Looking at the Sky: This lecture presents snapshots of sky over Beavercreek, Ohio at various times, with the larger goal of reconstructing how our ancestors must have perceived the sky, and eventually build the foundations of the current theories of Astronomy.  It introduces the causes for day and night, phases of moon, stars and constellations, zodiac, planets, causes for seasons, etc.
(3) Solar System: This lecture presents details on Sun and its planets. (The eight "regular" planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and the ninth "dwarf " planet is: Pluto.) It also discusses comets, meteor shower, discovery of extra-solar planets, etc. to introduce many periodic news items.
(4) Constellations: This lecture introduces some well-known constellations and some bright stars in the night sky. Kids can explore this area further on their own with parental guidance.
(5) Star Properties: This lecture is a deeper introduction to the formal study of stars. It introduces concepts such as luminosity, surface temperature, spectral types, apparent brightness, parallax method for determining distances,  binary stars, etc. It explains Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, and on its basis, main sequence stars, red giants, supergiants, white dwarfs.  This will later serve to understand the lifecycle of a star. This will require some parental guidance.
(6) Evolution of Stars: This lecture discusses the birth, life and death of stars. This will require some parental guidance.