X-ray Spectroscopy and the Chemistry of Supernova Remnants

A Series of Lesson Plans
Allie Hajian and Maggie Masetti
with teachers Rick Fowler and Angela Page

Objectives - Students will read and write about the chemistry and spectroscopy of stars and supernova remnants, as well as understand their relevance and impact on human life. Students will also learn about cutting edge technology that will help us to build better instruments with which to study the Universe.

Each section has several pages of background material relevant to the associated activities and the lesson plan as a whole. The background sections include short exercises or thought questions developed to help the student reach a better understanding of the material presented. Each section also has activies developed by real teachers - designed to bring important concepts in astronomy right into the classroom. Each activity is correlated to national science and math standards for grades 9 - 12. These activities show how interelated chemistry, physics, and astronomy really are.

Outline of Unit

Part I: How and Where are Elements Created?

Part II: What is Electromagnetic (EM) Radiation?
How is it created in atoms?
What units are used to characterize EM radiation?

Part III: What tools are used to identify elements?
What importance do X-rays have to astronomy?

Part IV: How does the newest technology help us to understand the Universe?