Atoms & Stars

A Historical Introduction to Astronomy, Physics, and the Nature of Science

A Note to Teachers:   Any material of mine in  this discovery-based, fun, unorthodox way of teaching science is in the public domain and may be published, altered,  or reproduced without requesting my permission.  However, if you need advice about the free use of any item--or of the entire hardcopy package--please send me an e-mail.

The following materials are available online:

Syllabus, Contact Information, & Weekly Schedule

Contents of Hard-Copy Coursepack


Class Activity: The Mystery of the Temperamental Aluminum Can

Conceptual Activity: Atmospheric Pressure and the Nature of Science
We Are All Scientists (T. H. Huxley) Science Play:  MSU's Pressure Skit
The Speed of Light: A Case History in Astronomy and Physics Home Activity: Phases of the Moon
Gambling Anyone?  Double-up!! The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Sagan & Drake)
Tests on Mars rock reveal life can jump between planets (Caltech) What is Science?  
Retrospective Reflections on Atoms & Stars GRADES:    
Greenhouse Effect: Where Astronomy and Ecology Meet (click here for six additional greenhouse-related articles).  Click also the following five: 1. The Greenhouse Effect: A Comparative Perspective.  2. Climate change warning (BBC)  3. Reality Check (Gelbspan). 4. 2001 Was the 2nd Hottest, Confirming a Trend, U.N. Says (Associated Press)  5. Greenhouse Effect Exercise

Moti Nissani's Webpage

Atoms & Stars: Syllabus & Weekly Schedule