"Thank you so much for visiting our class on
Friday! The kids loved it...they thought it was pretty cool to meet a
"real" Astronomer! Thanks again, Janine"
Lesson Plan Four - Detecting Meteors by Radio in the Classroom
9, Unit E, Topic 5: What Channel is That?
in Action 9,
Unit E, Topic 3: The Spectroscope
Science in Action 9, Unit E, Topic 3.2: Using Technology to See Beyond the
Science in Action 9, Unit E,
Topic 1.2: Discovery Through Technology
*All requirements in this section are quoted directly from the new Science 9 curriculum from Alberta Learning. The full curriculum can be seen
|Technologies for space exploration and observation (Unit E)|
|Communication technologies (Unit E)|
|Forms of energy (D)|
|Describe and interpret the science of optical and radio telescopes, space probes and remote sensing technologies
|Explain the role of radio and optical telescopes in determining characteristics of stars and star systems
|Identify and correct practical problems in the way a prototype or constructed device functions (Unit D)|
|Investigate and illustrate the contributions of technological
advances-including optical telescopes, spectral analysis and space
travel-to a scientific understanding of space (Unit E)|
|Investigate and describe ways that human understanding of Earth and space has depended on technological development
|Work collaboratively on problems; and use appropriate language and formats
to communicate ideas, procedures and results (Units C, E)|
|Work collaboratively in carrying out investigations and in generating and
evaluating ideas (all Units)|
|Conduct investigations into the relationships between and among observations, and gather and record qualitative and quantitative data (all
|Analyze qualitative and quantitative data, and develop and assess possible explanations (all
Activity - Detecting Meteors with an FM Radio
Background information for teachers
and students can be found here
and here. These are the two
articles assigned for homework prior to today's session.
of the Activity
will receive an introduction to the principles of radio telescopes and how they
use the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to observe objects and
processes in space. An FM radio and related equipment will be used as a radio
telescope to do real scientific observations of meteors entering the Earth's
Digitally tuned AM/FM radio (provided by Sky Scan
PC Computer with sound card.
Appropriate cables (provided by Sky Scan project).
Radio Sky Pipe software.
This free software can be downloaded directly to your PC. A version with
advanced features can be purchased as well.
Antenna (may be provided by Sky Scan or may require
construction by the school - ask us
Review all of the material on the Student
Activities page and pages linked to it. You should also review the materials
information on the Getting Started
page. It describes the equipment required to set up a classroom based FM radio
Have students report on their findings from the homework
assignment comparing day and night time characteristics of AM and FM radio
Review the process for undertaking the radio telescope
project with the
class. Proceed to
the Student Activities page
for instructions. Detailed information on the equipment required for this
project is outlined in the Student Activities section. This activity is the main project of the
Sky Scan curriculum resource.
Teacher notes and debriefing