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Science - Secondary Curriculum SEEd - Astronomy
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Core Standards of the Course

The study of astronomy started as curious people observed and tried to explain phenomena observed on Earth by looking up at the sky. Models help to investigate and explain these phenomena using evidence for our current understanding. Space Exploration helps us better understand our planet and cause leaps in technology, culture, knowledge, and inspiration.

Standard ASTR.1.1
Develop and use models to evaluate the relationship between the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon and the phenomena caused by the relationship as observed from Earth. Emphasize how the location of the Earth, Sun, and Moon cause the phenomena. Examples of observable phenomena may include the day/night cycle, seasons, equinoxes and solstices, moon phases, eclipses, or tides.

Standard ASTR.1.2
Plan and carry out an investigation using the celestial sphere to explain how latitude and time of year affect the visibility of constellations, planets, and other celestial objects.

Standard ASTR.1.3
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how patterns in ancient structures, instruments, philosophies, and civilizations influenced the study of astronomy. Examples of philosophies could include astronomical models (e.g., geocentric, heliocentric), Aristotelian physics, or Ptolemaic models with epicycles.

Standard ASTR.1.4
Plan and carry out an investigation to analyze patterns in telescopic data of various electromagnetic spectra to explain astronomical phenomena. Emphasize evaluating the uses and advantages of data to explain phenomena. Examples of data of various electromagnetic spectra could include absorption, redshift/ blueshift, emission spectra, or blackbody curves.

Standard ASTR.1.5
based on evidence for the significance of historical and future space exploration as they relate to affecting leaps in technology, cultural cooperation, knowledge, and inspiration. Emphasize that historical space exploration began with Sputnik and continues to the present day.

Earth is one part of a larger solar system and objects within the solar system can be compared and classified. The objects and motions in the solar system provide evidence for the formation of the solar system. The solar system shares common forces, energy, and matter that can explain its characteristics and motion. Advances in technology make space travel and colonization possible if risks and constraints can be evaluated and overcome.

Standard ASTR.2.1
Ask questions to investigate and communicate the structure and properties of objects in our solar system and the zones they inhabit. Emphasize grouping the objects found in the solar system into different categories based on their major properties. Examples of objects in the solar system could include planets, dwarf planets, major moons, asteroids, or comets. Examples of zones could include asteroid belt, Kuiper belt, or the Oort cloud.

Standard ASTR.2.2
Develop and use models, based on evidence, to explain the formation of the solar system and the different proportions of matter and energy within regions of the system. Emphasize the cause of observed patterns of matter distribution in the solar system. Examples of matter distribution could include low amounts of ice found inside the frost line or the location of gas planets.

Standard ASTR.2.3
Use computational thinking to model gravitational force at varying scale and proportion that explain motion and interaction of objects in the solar system. Emphasize that these forces are also at play throughout the universe. Examples of models could be conceptual, comparing force and motion of different objects in space, and do not require that students solve for the force of gravity acting on an object.

Standard ASTR.2.4
Design a solution (plan) for a functioning human colony on an object in the solar system other than Earth. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop possible solutions using models, analyze data to make improvements from iteratively testing solutions, and optimize the solution. Emphasize analyzing which planet/world of the solar system would have the best chance for a successful colony based on specific criteria. Examples of planets/ worlds of the solar system could include Mars or moons of the Jovian planets. Examples of specific criteria could include distance from Earth, available energy sources, amounts of water or solvent, protection from solar radiation, or amount of resources/building materials.

Stars are born and die over a period of time in a process called stellar evolution. During a star's existence they may change in elemental composition, density, luminosity, temperature, and other ways. These changes can both be recognized and predicted.

Standard ASTR.3.1
Develop and use models to explain stability and change during the process of stellar evolution from birth to death of a star. Emphasize the causes for the changes during stellar evolution and the evidence that supports current understanding.

Standard ASTR.3.2
Construct an argument based on evidence from the Hertzsprung- Russell diagram to investigate properties (structure) of stars. Examples of properties of stars could include density, luminosity, temperature, rates of fusion, absolute magnitude, or spectral class.

Standard ASTR.3.3
Ask questions to evaluate evidence that predicts the stability and change of a star during its lifespan and its final stage of stellar evolution based on mass. Emphasize stellar remnants and events such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, black holes, and supernovae.

All matter and energy in the universe originate from a single event called the Big Bang. Since that time, matter in the form of different elements was formed through many processes, including the birth and death of stars. Dark matter and energy exist in the universe and affect its evolution. Galaxies also form and change through galactic evolution.

Standard ASTR.4.1
Construct an argument from evidence to explain the patterns that describe the formation of the universe. Emphasize the scientific theory of the Big Bang and evidence that supports it. Examples of evidence for the Big Bang could include the cosmological principle, cosmic microwave background radiation, Hubble's Law, observed galactic redshift, and time-space expansion.

Standard ASTR.4.2
Use models to describe the conditions of the early universe that led the formation and evolution of matter including the birth of the first stars and galaxies.

Standard ASTR.4.3
Construct an explanation using evidence to support the existence of dark matter and dark energy. Emphasize indirect evidence to support their existence.

Standard ASTR.4.4
Develop and use models to relate the cause for how galactic evolution occurs. Emphasize the processes of mergers and collisions.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Milo  Maughan and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.