|Scooped by Scott Jones|
How to use: This site could be used in class with provided laptops and the students could initially just experiment with all the different features. The overall goal of a single lesson could be to fill out a worksheet provided by the teacher or to write a short report on the nature of stellar life cycles. This website could be used either to supplement the textbook or used to introduce the topic as the interactive nature of this source might be a good way to get kids excited about stars straight away.
A larger assessment task could be set requiring the students in small groups to explain different aspects of the site, covering each variation of the life cycles of stars and even the formation of heavy elements in nuclear fusion. Students could be divided into groups or individually prepare a speech about a particular mass of star; small, medium or large and present this to the class. Subsequently a class discussion could be run to examine the differences between them and hypothesise what the basic processes that cause these differences might be.
The source supports numeracy and literacy as it requires the comprehension of simple explanations and also the ability to use the numbers in the graphs to compare masses, sizes and luminosities.
Justification: This online resource contains many simple explanations of the different aspects of star formation. It uses a few relatable analogies (such as a comparison to the life cycle of people) to make the vast timescales relatable in a relative sense. This site also includes an interactive component where students are able to input their own parameters into a star and observe the resulting life cycle. Additionally, there are a few animations showing the different components of this process.
This site contains a series of question sections and animations that would be fun for students to play with. The interactive nature of the source is excellent for maintaining student interest. It goes through all the basics of stellar life cycles covering low mass, medium mass and high mass stars and show images of all these stages with information about the luminosity and temperature as well. Students will be challenged to deeply consider the nature of each component of a star’s life and instead of merely memorising the characteristics of each stage they will gain the understanding to predict what these properties should be.
The question sections are excellent for confirming the knowledge that the students have gained and could give them a tangible sense of achievement upon eventually getting all the questions correct. As with any computer resource however it is limited by access to computers and any set-up time this may require.