Universe: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the fifth of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It provides understanding of how the universe formed, how it has changed over time, and how it continues to change today. The ‘big bang’ theory of universe formation is supported by recent observations of the motion of galaxies, as well as observations of the energy left over from the formation of the universe. This evidence suggests that the origin of the universe occurred approximately 13.6 billion years ago, during a point in time when the state of the universe was much hotter and more dense. The fact that light seen from almost all distant galaxies has longer wavelengths than comparable light here on earth provides evidence that the whole universe has been expanding ever since the big bang (and continues to expand today).

Grades
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Reviews (17)
  • on Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:56 PM

In listening to the Science Object about how astronomers years and years and many years ago collected evidence that suggest that a catastrophic and all-encompassing event occurred which brought our universe into being and set everything in the universe into motion may explain why some think and thank the universe for their existence versus God for their creation. It was interesting to learn from an astronomer’s point of view the origin of our universe. It was also interesting to learn that the universe existence is approximately 13 billion years old. The only thing that was a bit confusing for me to figure out at first was the Spectral Graphs of the Galaxies. Overall, the interactive video was informative and gave me a better understanding of the Universe.

Kizzy Amos
Kizzy Amos

  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:57 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Universe: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only do they enrich my teaching, the knowledge enriches my life as well!.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:07 PM

This resource and the ones like it are particularly valuable for me for several reasons. First, I like the table of contents off to the left, which all ow me to keep track of what is coming up and see the entire lesson at once. Also, it is multisensory...engaging several senses. Finally, they are self paced, which I really need with my busy lifestyle.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Thu May 02, 2013 9:43 PM

After completing this resource I have a thorough understanding of how wavelengths and spectrum fit together. I was confused about these areas as I have not done any reading in quite some time about the universe. This interactive resource has clarified everything for me. Thanks NSTA.

Deborah Andrews
Deborah Andrews

  • on Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:28 PM

Beyond the Milky Way, there lies a plethora of galaxies; these continue to move apart as the universe continues to expand. This resource takes us on a journey that began about 13.7 billion years ago as we learn of the conditions present at the beginning of the universe. We conclude our adventure with the current evolutionary state of the universe. Excellent resource.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:21 AM

After reading this resource, I got a clear understanding of how things started and how they evolved.Another thing I liked about this resource is the agenda which helped me to figure out what page the items are and easily find where I stopped reading previously.

Seth Kwizera  (Houston, TX)
Seth Kwizera (Houston, TX)

  • on Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:34 PM

It is simply amazing how people seem to have figured out how everything started! The advance of technology has allowed us to discover so much more and understand so much more in a short period of time. I believe it is only a matter time before technology is able to advance us deeper into space. Moreover, this is a great sci-pact for 4th grade to help them get a better understanding of space. It can surely help them spark interest in what is really out there in outer space and how it all started.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:34 PM

It is simply amazing how people seem to have figured out how everything started! The advance of technology has allowed us to discover so much more and understand so much more in a short period of time. I believe it is only a matter time before technology is able to advance us deeper into space. Moreover, this is a great sci-pact for 4th grade to help them get a better understanding of space. It can surely help them spark interest in what is really out there in outer space and how it all started.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:47 PM

Evolution has always been a controversial topic. Teaching students evolution in school has been a topic of conversation for parents and school districts. At the beginning of the article/SCiPack, it discusses how the universe was formed (Big Bang). There are so many scientific evidence to prove this theory. This is a good resource to teach evolution especially using the visuals and interactive videos.

Felicia A
Felicia A

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:33 PM

Quite possibly the most popular theory of our universe's origin centers on a "cosmic cataclysm" unmatched in all of history—the big bang. This theory was born of the observation that other galaxies are moving away from our own at great speed, in all directions, as if they had all been propelled by an ancient explosive force. Before the big bang, scientists believe, the entire vastness of the observable universe, including all of its matter and radiation, was compressed into a hot, dense mass just a few millimeters across. This nearly incomprehensible state is theorized to have existed for just a fraction of the first second of time. Proponents of the big bang suggest that some 10 billion to 20 billion years ago, a massive blast allowed all the universe's known matter and energy—even space and time themselves—to spring from some ancient and unknown type of energy. The theory maintains that, in the instant—a trillion-trillionth of a second—after the big bang, the universe expanded with incomprehensible speed from its pebble-size origin to astronomical scope. Expansion has apparently continued, but much more slowly, over the ensuing billions of years. Scientists can't be sure exactly how the universe evolved after the big bang. Many believe that as time passed and matter cooled, more diverse kinds of atoms began to form, and they eventually condensed into the stars and galaxies of our present universe.

Tanya Barrett
Tanya Barrett

  • on Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:00 PM

I can honestly say that I did not know a lot of the information in the Scipack prior to reading. This is a great resource in helping students dig deeper in understanding conditions that were present at the beginning of the universe, strategies used to determine the age of the universe, the current evolutionary state of the universe, and evidence for an expanding universe. Although I could not get some of the videos to play, there was a wealth of visuals and research given to deepened my knowledge and take my students further.

JeRita Humphrey
JeRita Humphrey

  • on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:06 PM

I admit that astronomy has never been my strongest area of science, therefore I felt a little overwhelmed in completing the SciPack on “Universe: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe”. I found it difficult learning different facts about the universe without more meaningful interactive support. For example, I wanted to see more of how the big bang theory looked using a video to help me more determine the plausibility. Yet, the videos from figures 3.4, 4.1, and 4.2 did not play on my computer. The interactive videos such as 3.2 and 3.3 helped me form more of a clear understanding regarding Hubble’s Law and the expansion of the universe. Yet, I felt reading or having someone read to me facts about the universe kept me less engaged in completing the SciPack because I am a visual learner.

Papillon  (Atlanta, GA)
Papillon (Atlanta, GA)

  • on Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:09 PM

This Science Object begins with a brief history of astronomy, discussing how the evolution of telescopes has helped us to get a better picture and understanding of our universe. This improvement in technology helped scientists to understand the origins of the universe and to determine its age, as well as possibilities for the future of the universe. This object is very detailed and somewhat complex. I would use this more with middle school students than elementary students. As with other Science Objects, there are some great interactive lessons and a video to possibilities of the future of the universe.

Bianca Jones
Bianca Jones

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:52 PM

The review was a great resource with an integration of the Universe and the light. This review would be a good resource to let my students view to see how a prism and other tools are used to view the Universe.

Adriane Woods
Adriane Woods

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:52 PM

The review was a great resource with an integration of the Universe and the light. This review would be a good resource to let my students view to see how a prism and other tools are used to view the Universe.

Adriane Woods
Adriane Woods

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:57 PM

The SciPack on Evolution was though-provoking. I thought about how students’ religious views play a part in how students view evolution. I like the photographs, especially Figure 1.2 and Figure 1.4 of the Sombero Galaxy and Spiral Andromeda Galaxy.

Shereen Zimmerman
Shereen Zimmerman

  • on Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:46 PM

This article raised questions in me about the entire big bang theory. Based on Hubble's Law the galaxy is every changing and moving because of distance and there was collide cause a big bang. This is interpreted by astronomers to mean that the Big Bang and the creation of our universe occurred about 13.7 billion years ago.

Linda Howard
Linda Howard


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