The prospect of discovering a whole new planet in Planet Hunters is super amazing and awesome. I sometimes refer to it as the “sexiest” outcome of any Zooniverse project (sorry lions and plankton). Here at the Zooniverse we’ve found that young people get pretty jazzed about the prospect of discovering a new world too. We want to deepen that excitement by helping students to understand the science behind the project.
Over the past year educators have been developing the Planet Hunters Educators Guide. Specifically targeted at middle school students (11-14 year olds), this nine-lesson unit aims to help students gain an in-depth understanding of the science behind Planet Hunters. Topics addressed include the transit method of detecting exoplanets, habitable zones, working with Kepler data to determine features of the different exoplanets, and much more. Last spring we conducted a first round of teacher review of the initial set of lessons. Since then they’ve been updated and improved based on the incredibly valuable feedback provided by teachers from around the world.
We’re carrying out a second round of teacher evaluation on these the revised lessons. Care to lend us your opinion? We need teachers to tell us what they think about these lessons and how to make them better!
- If you’d like to help us create this educational resource please fill in this Google Form.
- We’ll email you directly with instructions on accessing the lessons and evaluation forms by Friday February 14th.
- US-based teachers who complete either of the following options by 5pm CST on Wednesday March 10th will receive a $25 Amazon gift card via email.
1.) Pilot at least two lessons with students and complete a short feedback form for each lesson.
2.) Read at least four lessons and complete a short feedback form for each lesson.
We welcome the opinions from educators from any country, but are only able to offer the Amazon gift card to US-based teachers due to grant restrictions. If you have any questions please comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.