Lesson 2: Hunting for galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field

Timeframe

This activity requires approximately one 30-minute class

  • In this class, students will examine the Hubble Deep Field images and identify different types of galaxies.

Objectives

204-7
Plan a set of steps to solve a practical problem and to carry out a fair test of a science-related idea (e.g., plan a procedure to test a hypothesis in a simulated moon crater activity)

General Objectives

Through this activity, students will become more familar with the physical characteristics of galaxies and will begin to learn how to classify galaxies. Students will also gain a deeper understanding of the grand scale of the universe.

Curricular Connections

  • Language Arts
    • Descriptive writing

Lesson Overview

This activity involves having students analyze the Hubble Deep Field images to identify galaxies. Students also will classify and sort galaxies according to the physical characteristics. Students will be required to write explanations for the classification techniques they used.

Materials and Resources

Nota : This page contains documents for which the access may require a particular software. If the software is not installed, you can download it and follow the instructions for installation.

Vocabulary

  • galaxy
  • elliptical
  • spiral
  • barred spiral
  • Hubble Deep Field
  • Hubble Space Telescope

Developing the Lesson

  1. Assign students to groups of two
  2. Expain that before they begin, all students must write down an explanation for the differences between stars and galaxies, as well as an explanation of how they are going to classify the galaxies in the images.
  3. Dismiss students to begin working

Closure

The teacher distributes the Galaxy shapes handout and begins a discussion as to how the students chose to classify the galaxies. Teacher should elicit feedback from the students as to the frequency with which certain types of galaxies appear in the images and a corresponding rationale.

Use the Hubble Tuning Fork HTML page to explain classification.

Evaluation

The key to this activity is having students look at esentially raw data in order to determine and justify a means of classifying galaxies. Students should be evaluated on the rationael they include for their classification techniques, and also on their ability to work within their groups.

The following rubric may be helpful for evaluations.

Cooperative Learning Rubric
CATEGORY Excellent Good Satisfactory Needs Improvement
Contribution to Group Regularly provides useful ideas to group; contributes a strong effort Often provides useful ideas to group; tries hard Sometimes provides useful ideas to group; does what is required Rarely provides useful ideas to group; may refuse to participate
Quality of Work Highest quality work High quality work Work sometimes needs monitoring or re-doing Work usually needs monitoring or re-doing
Effectiveness Regularly paces work well; does not need to be encouraged to get work done on time Usually paces work well; may have needed some encouragement to get work done on time, but does not hold up group's progress Tends to procrastinate, but always gets work done on time Rarely paces work well; group's progress is held up by inadequate time management
Attitude Never openly critical of project or others' work; positive attitud Rarely openly critical of project or others' work; mostly positive attitude Sometimes openly critical of project or others' work; partially negative attitude Often openly critical of project or others' work; mostly negative attitude
Preparedness Always ready to begin tasks Almost always ready to begin tasks Almost always brings needed materials, but distractions sometimes slow progress Often forgets to bring materials or is rarely ready to begin tasks
Collaboration Almost always contributes to group dynamic by listening, sharing, and supporting others' efforts; encourages  group unity Usually contributes to group dynamic by listening, sharing, and supporting others' efforts; does not create problems for group Sometimes contributes to group dynamic by listening, sharing, and supporting others' efforts; sometimes a poor team player Rarely contributes to group dynamic by listening, sharing, and supporting others' efforts; often a poor team player