Me in the moonlight?
Week 1:

Assignment 1

1. What is your experience in education and your interest/level of knowledge about the Moon?
Working on M.S. in Instructional Technology
B.A. in Interactive Multimedia
A.A.S. in Digital Design

My background is in Multimedia and Digital Design. I am currently a Media Educator at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. Basically, I create educational computer based interactives with space science related educational goals. Everything I know about the Moon has come from a single college astronomy class and what I absorb at the Planetarium (which is quite a bit!). I have always been very interested in the Moon, so I'm excited to learn more.

2. What do you specifically hope to get out of the course?
A better general knowledge about the Moon, and about the upcoming Moon missions. I'd like to learn enough to feel confident when discussing these topics.

Moon Observation:

Day 2: Yet another cloudy day in Chicago. I can't see the Moon for more than a second every 10 minutes :( Tomorrow should be clear.

MoonAR.jpgHere is my observation for Wednesday. I recall the image of the "rabbit" in the Moon though through city lights I couldn't make out all of the features. After looking at the labeled image I can make out what I think is the Mare Nectaris, Mare Fecunditatis, Mare Tranquillitatis, Mare Imbrium, Mare Humorum, Mare Nubium and perhaps the Oceanus Procellarum.

I did want to note that on Friday the Moonshine over Lake Michigan viewed from Lake Shore Drive was absolutely beautiful.

Week 2:

Moon Readings:

Big whack formation of the Moon - The majority of evidence of the impact that created the Moon cannot be found on Earth due to all the geological activity on.

The magma ocean - one of the neatest ideas to spring unexpectedly from the first Apollo samples! - Rock samples included volcanic rock called basalt. It is believed that 4.5 billion years ago the Moon was covered by a layer of magma hundreds of kilometers thick. If all the lunar highlands are enriched in plagioclase, then the magma must have been all over the Moon. Though not proven, there has been no evidence to contradict this idea.

Two terrains - highlands and lowlands - The highlands appear lighter and the lowlands darker. The lowlands resemble seas and are called maria (seas in Latin) and high lands lunar terrae (land in Latin). Highlands are overlapping craters caused by meteorites hitting the Moon. Maria make up about 16% of the lunar service. Most volcanic activity happened after the highlands were created so the Maria created by it are younger than the highlands. Most maria occur on the Earth facing side of the Moon.

Impact basins - Large impacts would push material outward creating basins surrounded by higher areas. The mass of the material pushed out can be about 10,000 time the mass of the impactor. Usually the impactor will vaporize from the great amount of force it hits the Moon with.

South Pole - Aitken Basin - Largest known impact crater in the solar system. Named after the Aitken crater on the northern end and the southern lunar pole on the other.

Imbrium Impact Basin- Created when lava filled a giant crater after a large object hit the Moon. AKA The Man in the Moon's right eye.

Formation of Copernicus and names of its parts (rim, terraces, central peaks, rays and secondary craters).
Hundreds of millions of years of flooding by mare lavas
Fall off in cratering rate and size of projectiles with time.

Lunar cataclysm
- Some scientists believe that the Moon may have been heavily during a short period of time, since the age of the many of the rocks in the highlands are within a narrow age span. This may have impacted Earth and even inhibited or destroyed life here.

Super Cool Thing I Didn't Know or Previously Consider!
Solar wind gases may prove useful when people establish permanent settlements on the Moon. Life support systems require the life-giving elements: hydrogen and oxygen (for water), carbon, and nitrogen. Plenty of oxygen is bound in the silicate, minerals of lunar rocks (about 50% by volume) and the solar wind provided the rest.

Moon Observation:

Going to get binoculars this week! Just in time for the New Moon...haha.

Week 3:

What is the impact crater and lunar-like volcanic feature closest to where you live. How do those features compare to ones on the Moon? Bigger? Smaller? Different erosional state? What questions do you have about any lunar feature?

Crater Location: Des Plaines, IL
Diameter: 8 km
Age: Less than 289 Million Years
Exposed: No
Drilled: Yes
Target Rock: Sedimentary (no crystalline rocks affected by the impact event)

There are some craters on the Moon that are as small as the Des Plaines crater, but on average craters are much larger on the Moon than it. This crater is much younger than the majority of craters on the Moon which range from about 3.5 to 4 billion years ago.

Were there actual volcanos on the Moon?

Week 4:

Assignment 1

Read the short story Walk in the Sun and describe two lessons this would teach a student about the Moon.

This story was great at creating a mental picture of the geography on the Moon. By describing a human interacting with the features we've read about I was not only able to visualize properties such as the size, but also developed a personal connection to the space as if I was there myself.

This story was also helpful for visualizing the relationships between the Sun, Earth, and Moon. I'm going to give it another read through myself as I'm not so well informed about the topic. Again by creating a severe importance to that knowledge in the story, it also creates a desire to understand.

Assignment 2

Have a discussion with your family or a group of friends and come up with at least ten examples of the Moon in popular culture. (This could be songs, movies, products, etc. -- for example, Eclipse gum or the songs Blue Moon and Walking on the Moon by the Police.) If this is fun, see how many you and your group can come up with and from how wide a range of popular culture.

Blue Moon Beer Moondance by Van Morrison, "Somewhere Out There" by James Ingram, Moonmadness album by Camel, Keith Moon was The Who's drummer, Frank Zappa has a daughter named Moon, "The Moonlight Sonata", 1971 Rolling Stones song called "Moonlight Mile", Somerset Maugham's novel based on Gaughin's life called The Moon and Sixpence, Bitter Moon is a film by Roman Polanski, Captain Beefhart had an album called Bluejeans and Moonbeams, Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon", Rabbit Junk's cover of "Walking on the Moon", "That's Amore" Dean Martin (When the moon hits your eye), "Man on the Moon" REM (and the movie, too), "Bad Moon Rising" CCR, "Bark at the Moon" Ozzy (werewolves in general are sorta pop culture), "The Dark Side of the Moon" Pink Floyd, Soleil Moon Frye, the book Goodnight Moon, RIGHT TO THE MOON ALICE ! Frau im Mond movie,

Assignment 3

Ask students or coworkers what they have heard about the effect of the full moon on human behavior. If they give you a blank look, hint at what they may have heard that people in emergency rooms, police and firefighters, or staff in baby delivery rooms say. Try to get a diverse range of people to talk to you about this in the course of the week and tally their responses into general categories. There is a widely shared sense among the general population that the full moon causes crazy behavior (“lunacy”) and we will talk a bit about this during the week. But it would be nice to see if you can find evidence of this belief among people you work with.

General Crazyness = IIIII
Depression = I
Effects Menstrual Cycle = II
People turn into werewolves = III

Only three of the people I've asked so far actually believe what they've heard. A few even brought up the studies debunking some beliefs. Of the people that did believe 1) actually uses the Moon to make all of her decisions along with the location of the planets the other 2) has noticed his mood changing during the full Moon and has began keeping track of his mood and the Moon phases and the 3) is the counciler at a drug rehabilitation center and notices the clients act out more. She does admit it might just be a placebo effect.

Assignment 4
Please look through the Moon in Popular Culture Resource Guide and describe how you might use some of these resources in your EPO work.

Using this resource guide would be helpful when developing web/gallery interactives in our museum, especially as the Moon missions approach. Using the music might be a good way to get kids to pay attention. I can even see a Moon camp using the different Moon topics presented here. It's also good to start with a misconception a general population might. Let them tell it to you as they know it, then address the issue from there. If you can't touch on their existing knowledge, or make a connection, you will have a hard time teaching them anything. The best way to get someone to pay attention is to tell them what they know is wrong. Just make sure you can prove it :)

Extra Credit

If you are interested in more general interdisciplinary approaches to astronomy education, you might check out one or more of the following papers:

Music in Astronomy Education: http://aer.noao.edu/cgi-bin/article.pl?id=193 - I think music is a great way to connect with the "right brained" people. I appreciate the author distinguishing between a simple mention of astronomy and an actual accurate piece about astronomy. I am inspired to create an astronomy related playlist on my iPod. I'm always open for learning something by a different means.

Dealing with Astronomical Pseudoscience in Education: - still reading

Astronomy and Poetry in Education: http://aer.noao.edu/cgi-bin/article.pl?id=10 - will read soon

Teaching Astronomy with Science Fiction: http://aer.noao.edu/cgi-bin/article.pl?id=33 - will read soon

Assigment 7

Moon-EPO WebQuest: TEACHER and STUDENT Perspectives

1. Introduction

TEACHER: A WebQuest is a teaching tool that engages individuals or groups in guided, web-based exploration. How could you use this device to establish individual roles for team projects where groups research open-ended questions?

This device would be really great for use in our museum even for offline resources. We have interactives for our Space Exploration program where you can explore planets, and conditions for human survival. We could split up roles where one person could study geology, one could study temperature, and so on. Or one could explore the human side and one the planet side, then come together to discuss what planet would be most inhabitable besides Earth.

STUDENT: Let’s take a few minutes to review the Moon-EPO activities and resources we’ve been introduced to during the course thus far. Which of these activities are most useful to your Moon-EPO goals? Which of these activities would you most likely use?
Apollo Surface Journals: Is a great quick resource for the Apollo Missions
Top 10 Scientific Discoveries from Apollo: This was easy to read, and held a lot of information. It was a nice beginner read, that build a foundation for me to be able to ask more questions and further explore elsewhere.
Walk in the Sun: This short story helped a lot of things click for me as far as Moon geography goes. I think I'd even like to see a visual representation of this story.
Moon in Popular Culture Resource Guide: This opened up a new realm of possibilities in approaching the Moon as a subject.

2. Task:

TEACHER: Wearing your educator hat, we’d like you to review the WebQuest as a guided inquiry tool for creating engaging, open-end, group activities. We want to know if and how you would use this tool?

Like I stated above it would work nicely in use with our Space Exploration program, or we could even create one for use in the classroom, where our museum is just one part of the exploration, and our web resources could be another.

STUDENT: Wearing your student hat, we’d like you to review the activities introduced in the Moon-EPO and pick one activity, test it out, and use the rubric linked to this activity page to rate the activity.

Assignment 2: Observing the Moon = 99 pts. I'm fairly new to the rubric, but here's how I came to that point assignment. It was clear the target audience was the class, and it seemed to be more oriented for a new observer to the Moon. Incorporating the labeled photographed provided was clearly explained. I think a 3rd party would have no problem using this activity. It was a little unclear if the comparisions made to the drawing were to be represented on our wiki, or if we were supposed to label our drawing once we figured out what we were looking at. I think getting the photo on the wiki may have been a problem for some people, in which case the technology could have gotten in the way. Or if someone didn't have access to a scanner/digital camera. I was very excited to look up at the Moon, and found it to be one of the most exciting assigments since I actually got to interact with the real object.

Week 8 Assignment


1) Gives accurate representation of how the Moon looks from Earth.
2) Gives names for the different phases
3) Shows Moon in orbit around Earth

1) Appears that the Moon lines up directly with the Earth and Sun every New and Full Moon.
2) The Moon isn't really clearly labeled, and who's to say this isn't a series of Moons around the Earth
3) The circle around the Earth appears to be really exist while the dashed lines do not.

Final Team Project

I am working with Nancy Ross to redesign the Moon page on Adler Planetarium's content website. Visit our CyberSpace Redesign Wiki for more information.