Rochester Museum And Science Center

At Home Under the Autumn Sky (Homeschool astronomy for ages 12 to 15)

At Home Under the Autumn Sky
Course number T806
For students around 12 to 15 years old
Three 90-minute sessions, Wednesdays, September 10, 17 and 24 from 9:30 to 11:00am
Strasenburgh Planetarium lobby and Star Theater
Fee $65. To enroll, please call (585) 697-1942. A parent’s or guardian’s e-mail address will be the primary means of communication about the course and is required for enrollment.
Enrollment deadline: Friday, September 5 at 4pm. If minimum enrollment is not reached by this time, RMSC may cancel the course and issue refunds.
Instructors: Steve Fentress, Director, Strasenburgh Planetarium; Paul J. Krupinski, Strasenburgh Planetarium show presenter and proprietor of the Mobile Dome Planetarium, Buffalo, NY
Interest in the topic, desire to learn, and willingness to support an environment that allows all participants to learn and gain benefit from the course.
Practical information
Parents and guardians should bring students to the Planetarium East Avenue entrance (the back door will be locked) between 9:20 and 9:30am for each session to allow time for sign-in and picking up a name badge.
Parents and guardians are welcome to work alongside students, sit at the side, or drop off and pick up with proper sign-in and sign-out.
Please bring:
- Two or three sharpened pencils with erasers
- A calculator or other device that includes a calculator
Course fee includes hole-punched paper handouts and a three-prong report cover for students to keep them in. Please bring these materials to each class meeting.
Parents and guardians are responsible for students' health needs while they are at RMSC. This includes dispensing any needed medications.
Please arrange for non-distracting activities for siblings not enrolled in the course.
Syllabus and topics
Here is our plan for the course. However, as we go, instructors may rearrange topics or change the amount of time devoted to particular topics according to their judgment of what will provide the most worthwhile experience for students.
Session 1: Wednesday, Sept. 10
“A Trip to Mars and Saturn” Planetarium show with discussion
Sky orientation: directions, time, how the sun travels through our sky each day, how its path changes with the seasons
Session 2: Wednesday, Sept. 17
“Phases, Seasons, Eclipses” Planetarium show with discussion
Review, compare and constrast recent motions of Mars and Saturn using the Planetarium sky
Session 3: Wednesday, Sept. 24
“Night of the Eclipse” Planetarium show with discussion
What to watch for in an eclipse; preparing for the solar eclipses that will occur in 2017 and 2024

Want to get started thinking about the sky? We recommend this website by University of Illinois Professor Jim Kaler, an expert on stars: