Unit 1: Origin of the Universe & Our Solar System

Unit Description 

The Big Bang theory encompasses our current understanding of the origin of the universe. This theory widely supported by scientists states that all of the matter that formed Earth, all of the materials that formed the stars and galaxies that light up the night sky, and all of the building blocks for everything in the Universe were once contained in a tiny singularity. Through observations and analysis of models, in this unit students will develop an understanding of evidence -cosmic background radiation and red shift- that has led scientists to their current understanding of the Universe’s origin. Students will also use models to construct their own understanding of how the Sun and the rest of our solar system was formed, properties of celestial objects, and the patterns and relationships we observe in the cosmos. Throughout the unit students will apply their learning to the unit performance task, Hunting for Earth 2.0.

Unit Essential Questions

How has our understanding of the Universe changed and why?

How can we use what we know about the motion of objects in our solar system to make predictions about its future and inferences about the rest of the Universe?

Is it probable that life can exist or be sustained on other planets?

Key Lab Components

What is Density?

Constructing Eliptical Orbits

Scale and Structure of the Universe