LESSON 9: ASTRONOMY AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IΙ - KEPLER'S LAWS Creative Commons, Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA)
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Astronomy has contributed substantially to the development of the sciences and to the development of some of its basic concepts, such as the concept of the scientific law. One such example is the formulation of the laws on planetary motion, also known as Kepler’s laws. In this lesson, the students are introduced through Kepler's laws into the concept of the scientific law. More specifically, they learn the process of the discovery, the different forms of formulating and of applying scientific laws which to explain and predict the natural phenomena. The knowledge of the nature and structure of a scientific law is helpful both in the cognitive and meta-cognitive level.

Knowledge acquisition gain
  Α) TEACHING AIMS Knowledge: The students, after completing the lesson, will be able to: ▪ Acknowledge that the scientists develop a theory, a scientific law, a generalization, in order to contribute to the explanation or the prediction of the natural phenomena. ▪ Know the structure and the form (verbal or mathematical) of a scientific law. ▪ Formulate the laws of Kepler. ▪ Adopt the view that a scientific discovery might not include laboratory experiments. Skills: The students, after completing the lesson, will be able to: ▪ Infer the laws of Kepler based on data taken from simulations/ images. ▪ Apply the laws of Kepler. ▪ Be able to construct an ellipse with simple materials (paper, styrofoam, drawing pin, pencil or chalk on the school yard). Attitudes: The students, after completing the lesson, will be able to: ▪ Cooperate in groups. ▪ Obtain a positive attitude towards science. ▪ Obtain a positive attitude towards the STEM specialties.

Workforce in Astronomy

Around 540,000 students study astronomy, physics, chemistry, and earth science in the EU. Besides astronomer or astrophysicist, there are many jobs available for which an astronomy degree is valuable. They include aerospace engineer, climatologist, computer systems analyst, data analyst, engineer, geophysicist, instrument designer, planetarium director, programmer, physicist, research scientist, science writer/journalist, software developer, statistician, teacher or professor, telescope operator. Jobs for scientists and engineers grew by 7% in the past five years. Jobs for technicians in the field grew by 2%. Overall, they account for 7% of all jobs in the EU. As of 2016, around 15 million European science and engineering workers are employed. They work in a variety of sectors, including professional services, utilities, manufacturing, and the public sector. In the next years, jobs for engineers and researchers will increase by 13%, and jobs for science and engineering technicians will increase by 2%.

  90 min
Number of staff
Education Level
15-18 years
Science Discipline
Classroom use
Supervision required
Teacher supervision required
Knowledge prerequisites
Operating system
Cross platform / browser based
Technical requirements
Internet connection during class required
You'll need to buy some materials
Printed materials required
Projector or large screen required
Installation effort
No installation required on typical computer
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