Higher Education

Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy, 3rd Edition

  • Stephen M. Pompea Steward Observatory, University of Arizona
  • ISBN-10: 0534373011  |  ISBN-13: 9780534373016
  • 256 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 1994, 1989
  • © 2000 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $57.75



Written and revised in response to requests from teachers for ideas that can be used to improve astronomy teaching, this new expanded edition offers dozens of ideas, demonstrations, and analogies gathered from over 40 teachers around the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction / List of Contributors
1. Connecting with Students
2. Science and Pseudoscience
3. Observational and Historical Astronomy
4. The Moon and Eclipses
5. Earth, Solar System Mechanics
6. Newton and Gravity
7. Planets, Their Satellites, and Comets
8. Physical Properties of Matter
9. Light and Electromagnetic Radiation
10. Telescopes, Optics, and Light Pollution
11. The Sun
12. Properties of Stars, Star Clusters, and the Interstellar Medium
13. Stellar Evolution
14. Galaxies and Cosmology
15. Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
16. Creating Astronomy Outreach Programs
17. Astronomy Education Research
18. Astronomy Teaching and the Science Education Standards
19. A Resource Guide for Astronomy Teaching
Appendix: Astronomy Diagnostic Test

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Stephen M. Pompea

Stephen M. Pompea is an Adjunct Associate Astronomer at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. He has served as an Associate Scientist on the Gemini 8-Meter Telescopes Project and as Instrument Scientist for the NICMOS (Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer) Project for the Hubble Space Telescope. His major research interests include star formation processes in galaxies, development of ultrablack surfaces for space telescopes, adaptive and active optics, telescope and instrument design, and stray light and contamination issues in optical systems. He is the inventor of Infrablack, a surface that is one of the world's blackest from the ultraviolet to the submillimeter region and is used to reduce glare in space telescopes. Dr. Pompea has served as an educational consultant to NASA, the Denver Museum of Natural History, the state of Nebraska, and the Denver and Houston public school districts, as well as a number of private schools and curriculum programs. He has given numerous workshops devoted to improving science teaching and to the training of secondary school and college science faculty. Dr. Pompea is also well known for his Galileo historical drama presentations delivered in full costume.