This course is designed to give you a brief glimpse into the magnificent art of astronomy. We will begin with a review of the fundamental tools necessary to do proper astronomy. Elementary subjects such as notation, quantitative methods and basic concepts in physics are covered here. We will also get the chance to review some of the most important laws of nature such as Newton's and Kepler's laws. We'll then dive into the study of local astronomy — the universe as we know it around our planet. Here we'll touch on solar eclipses, lunar eclipses and all sorts of phenomenon that you interact with from the terrestrial world. Expanding outwards, we'll learn about the rest of the planets in the solar system, as well as rarer events like comet and meteor passes that can occasionally grace our small home turf.
Naturally, we'll close out the course with the biggest and most interesting questions that our universe has to offer. Things will become more theoretical and, ideally, more fun! We will learn about Einstein and his revolutionary theories. This includes special and general relativity as well as their impact on our understanding of the cosmos. We'll study theories about the beginning and end of the universe, black holes and their mysteries, and even poorly understood concepts like dark energy and dark matter. If you're looking for a course that covers all this and more, look no further.
By the end of this course, you will have:
• A general understanding of astronomy, its scope, and the major questions that it is concerned with;
• An understanding of the history of astronomy and how the focus of the discipline has changed and expanded; and
• An appreciation for the vastness of our cosmos and our unique position in it.
This is the perfect course for students who are interested in studying the natural world. The lack of prerequisites and exploratory nature of the course provides a low-stress environment for students who would otherwise be discouraged about taking a science class. Even if there is little interest in pursuing astronomy and physics at a higher level, this class provides basic information to amaze and educate you about the beautiful universe that we live in.
This course is truly introductory in nature and is intended to be accessible by most any high school student. It is designed for undergraduate students with little to no background in astronomy or physics. Some basic mathematical skills are helpful, but rest assured that this should not dissuade you from attempting this course.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.