Earth and Space Science

AMNH's Journey to the Stars

Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:59 PM

Has anyone used AMNH's Journey to the Stars DVD and teacher guide? (URL: I am thinking of using it for teaching about stars and the sun, but would like to add more activities before showing the DVD. Thoughts on the show and guide? How did it turn out for you and your class; and what tweaks would you recommend?

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Lorena
4915 Activity Points

Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:58 PM

Have you ever heard of "Starry Night" computer/dvd/inquiry lessons. It comes with EVERYTHING. If I could give this product 100 stars I would. The Science all in that one binder is absolutely pricelss!
I was actually introduced to it at NSTA's Baltimore convention last year.


Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart
7755 Activity Points

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:23 PM

Hi Cheska and Brandy, I, too, use Starry Night Backyard elementary. It is an excellent resource and you can purchase a lab pack that seems appropriately priced. For some free software, you might want to check out Stellarium or Celestia. Both have many of the features of Starry Night Backyard,but they lack the lesson plans. If money is a problem, you might consider purchasing the binder and a DVD for one classroom computer use. Then students could practice with the free software.
To help students understand how a telescope works, I like the activity from Exploratorium (you can recycle old reading glasses).

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79588 Activity Points

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:52 PM

Hi Cheska,

I have not used the AMNH's product, but like Brandy and Carolyn, I have used Starry Night at both the elementary and secondary levels. I was introduced to the Starry Night Elementary and Middle School binder packs at the NSTA National Convention last year. It's an excellent resource that includes the software, lesson plans, and reproducibles.

Carolyn and Brandy, I'm curious how you have used the Starry Night products in your classroom. Do you use the resources as their own unit or do incorporate them throughout the year? Also, do you have any ideas for making the products better accessible to teachers without interactive white boards and/or projectors in their room?


Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
40795 Activity Points

Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:09 PM

I used the free sites, but they can't compare to Starry Night. I use this program in my afterschool Astronomy group because unfortunately, I don't teach Astronomy in 5th grade. I couldn''t believe it when I first started working that I wasn't able to teach my favorite subject. I do sneak it in during the Light section. I got through the whole binder this summer with my group. It was fascinating to entertain and really learn stuff with the kids. I even made the dry ice comet and made the newspaper!

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart
7755 Activity Points

Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:54 PM

I am very interested in the free open source software you noted in your post. Have you experienced any issues with these and were you able to load the programs onto your school based computers? Thanks for any insight you can share!

Jenn McAdoo
Jenn McAdoo
2080 Activity Points

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