Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Solar System

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Solar System

Article excerpt

By James L. Larsen. $17.95. 186 pp. NSTA Press. Arlington, VA. 2015. ISBN: 9781941316665.


Like the changing face of the Moon, NSTA's enhanced e-book on our solar system can inspire different visions for different users and uses.

The book was created as a three-dimensional professional development tool for teachers, providing up-to-date content, illustrating broad and crosscutting concepts, and providing active tools for instruction. But it can also serve as an actual teaching tool, to bring all these exciting ideas to students as they practice science.

The book begins with wonder--a video of extreme ultraviolet light emitted from the Sun--and gets hotter from there. Because the book is designed to support teachers at all levels, it includes definitions of basic terms, such as solar system, and addresses basic questions, such as "Why is Pluto a dwarf planet?"

There are invitations to active observation and estimation as the reader progresses, plus references and invitations to integrate summaries of the work of philosophers such as Aristarchus. My only criticism of the book is the omission from its timeline of astronomers from China and South America. …

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