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Explorations of the Universe

Cosmic Voyage and A Travel Guide for Educators
TV Field Trip Visits Fermilab
Resources for the Cosmic Puzzle

Cosmic Voyage and A Travel Guide for Educators

Two additional resources are available to add to our understanding of the early universe. Cosmic Voyage is a video produced for IMAX/OMNIMAX theaters. Check with the IMAX theatres in your areas to see if it is scheduled. The video is also available as a VHS tape for personal viewing and is available for purchase through: 70 MM Inc., 7 McCarty Crescent, Markham, Ontario L3P 4R4, Canada, 1-800-263-IMAX (Outside of North America call 905-472-9575) for $29.95 plus $5.00 shipping.


The video Cosmic Voyage explores the inner and outer space connection in a similar fashion to the classic film, Powers of Ten (available through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific) but adds the impact of the 3-D and IMAX technologies. Starting on Earth, the foundation and interval for measurement is established as one meter--the size of a Hula-hoop. The film "creates a cosmic zoom" showing scene after scence that is ten times broader than the one before expanding out into solar system, galaxy and cosmos. Returning to Earth the inner space connection is established by taking a similar journey into a drop of pond water to explore the molecules and subatomic particles of life.


The Cosmic Voyage: A Travel Guide for Educators is a teacher's guide prepared to supplement the viewing of the film. The Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum piloted activities and prepared a final teacher's guide for middle school classrooms. The guide includes activities in three parts: "Our Space," "Outer Space" and "Inner Space" including activities on astronomy, metric measurement and the nature of matter. The activity on pages 7-8 are adapted from Cosmic Voyage: A Travel Guide for Educators.


To obtain a free copy of Cosmic Voyage: A Travel Guide for Educators contact: Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, MRC-305, Washington, DC 20560; 202-786-2524.

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TV Field Trip Visits Fermilab

Field Trip is an educational program designed to take television viewers on trips that are normally not accessible to the general public. Visits in the series have included Disney World, animation in Florida; Antietam Battlefield in Maryland and in the spring a program from Sea World in California is scheduled. This fall Fermilab was the focus for the television program. Field Trip is produced by Allbritton Television Production in Washington DC and was aired locally by WGN, Channel 9 on December 1, 1996, at 6:00 a.m.

Students from Skokie, Evanston and West Chicago toured Fermilab and met with scientist and engineers. During the two-day visit, each student documented their visit in a unique way by photographing with a computerized camera. These images were then downloaded onto the computers and placed into the field trip Web site.


Mike Becker assisted the students in harvesting seeds in the prairie. In Wilson Hall they met with Roger Dixon, Head of Fermilab's Research Division to learn about high-energy physics. Maurice Ball talked about the cooling system used to cool the Main Ring magnets. They also visited Rocky Kolb in his offices in the Astrophysics Department and learned about primordial soup. They were able to get a close-up view and explanation of the Collider Detector at Fermilab with Brenna Flaugher. In the Lederman Science Center, they explored the exhibits with Chuck Ankenbrandt and Priscilla Meldrim. In the Center computer lab the students then created their Web pages under the direction of Liz Quigg and Laura Mengel of the Computing Division. You can see their Web pages at: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/field_trip/field_trip.html.

The students had an opportunity to experience how a television show is filmed and learn about Fermilab.

Copies of the video are available in the TRC for viewing and borrowing. Call the Teacher Resource Center at: 630-840-3094.

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Resources for the Cosmic Puzzle

The Teacher Resource Center contains a great variety of resources for all areas of K-12 science, mathematics and technology. The following resources deal with the explorations of the universe in some exceptionally creative ways. Some of these are written for younger students beginning their journey of understanding and some are meant for young adults or the adult reader.


Odyssey: Science That's Out of This World, Cosmic Puzzles, December 1996, vol. 5, no. 9 is produced by Cobblestone Publishing, Inc., 7 School Street, Peterborough, NH 03458. Cosmic Puzzles is a creative way for students in grades 3-8 to continue their natural curiosity of their world through stories and factual articles written to inform and motivate. "The Subatomic Zoo" and "Alice in Atom Land" are examples of story titles. Odyssey: Science That's Out of This World is published nine times per year. Subscription cost is: $24.95/year.


Blind Watchers of the Sky: The People and Ideas that Shaped Our View of the Universe, by Rocky Kolb was published this year, 1996. The goal of this book is ambitious and accomplished. It begins by detailing with humor and first person accounts the history of early astronomy with a feeling for who these scientists (the blind watchers) were in relationship to the culture and history in which they lived. Further chapters delve into the stars, Milky Way and the early universe. What is unique about this book in light of the vast amount of others written on these topics is the humor and humanness that is used to present the excitement of discovery that can belong not only to cosmologists and astronomers but to the rest of us blind watchers. "After all, it's our universe too!" This publication is available through most Chicago area Borders bookstores. ISBN: 0-201-48992-9. $25.00.


The new Dorling Kindersley CD-Rom "Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Space and the Universe" describes itself as "the ultimate interactive guide to space" and "a visit to your own virtual observatory." The main menu screen serves as a space console where the user selects from sections on cosmology, history, a star dome, the solar system explained, etc. DK Multimedia, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY; 212-213-4800. ISBN: 0-7894-0881-3, 1995, $39.95.

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