Exoplanet Detector Experiment #2987


This lesson was extremely informative. I love the slight mention of the same technology that is in phones (CCD modules). The additional NASA resources are great.
This would be great to do in parts. They can design the “star” and the whole system before beginning this project. A great addition would be having them compete to see who could dip the lowest.
The only part I can see them needing help with is understanding the vocabulary. In addition, understanding the sensor and it’s various parts. Since they are not labeled, I would definitely consider creating a copy of the sensor and labeling it the way it was done in this lesson. That seems to be the hardest thing for my kids to remember.
I would be facilitating this lesson while students would work on creating the project and coding it. I would need to be around to answer questions as they work, and prompt them to think deeper by asking them further questions. They would be successful when I see the bulb light up and turn off.


@gryerson I love the idea of thinking about different blinds! That is not something i would have thought of. I love working on these projects with kids and seeing them think of what ifs!


Where does this lesson fit in with your curriculum?
I like the way that this lesson helps teach a bit about coding and wiring, but with a real-world application. I could see using this when we complete our space units in the spring as a way to open up discussions about how we can discover new worlds and how we can study objects that are so far away in space.

Which part or parts of the lesson would your students need extra support in order to be successful?
I don’t think they would need much help creating the “satellite” and modifying the code. I think they might need some help making the connections between this activity and what NASA does. The background information discusses it fairly well, but many of my students would still need some help in this area.

If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your role during the class. What does a successful teacher actively do during this lesson?
My students would likely be able to easily follow the directions in this lesson for building the “satellite” (i.e. - the Seeduino and sensor). My role would be to act as a facilitator as they experiment with different values for the luminosity threshhold in the program.

If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your student’s role during the class. What does “student success” look like?
The students would do most of this lesson on their own. I see student success in this lesson as getting the sensor and program to work and being able to explain how this demonstrates how NASA discovers exoplanets.