Day One: Introduction

Getting Ready
The first day should serve as a general introduction to telescopes. The first day focuses on introducing students to the telescope and Galileo. Many resources have been developed for students and are available online. The included Powerpoint gives a brief history of important developments in the telescope from Galileo’s modest instrument to the large telescopes under development today.

The PBS documentary 400 Years of the Telescope has a 400 Years of the Telescope Teacher's Page. Telescopes from the Ground Up has a good page Telescopes From the Ground Up.

In Class
Start by telling the students they are going to spend a week learning about telescopes. They will build a telescope, learn about its optics, and make astronomical observations with a telescope.

Have the students fill in the first two columns of the K-W-L chart. K is for what they know about telescopes (some of which may be incorrect), W is for what they would like to know, and L is for what they have learned. L is filled in at the end of the week. (KWL PDF)

Next talk about the history of telescopes. You can use the 400 Years Since Galileo Powerpoint or look for information on the 400 Years of the TelescopeTeacher’s Page or Telescopes From the Ground Up. Conclude with an introduction to the Galileoscope and tell the students they will begin building their own telescope tomorrow.

400 Years of Since Galileo (PPT)
KWL Sheet
400 Years of the Telescope Teacher's Page
Telescopes From the Ground Up