The Magazine About Learning and Teaching Astronomy



Where is the United Federation of Planets?

The Hermograph Press two-sided mini-poster showing the locations of the 43 real universe objects mentioned in all of the Star Trek series, plotted on galactic scales showing galactic structure and determinable empire borders , and in Earthly skies, with a list of all worlds and their Star Trek lore and known exo-planet status. Originally published in The Classroom Astronomer, Issue 18 and adapted from the forthcoming Hermograph Press book Federation Space

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Read by astronomy educators, and those who want to learn astronomy, in the United States and around the planet.  Join our Universe!

The Classroom Astronomer is a full color, quarterly PDF publication designed as a practitioner journal for classroom teachers of astronomy. While centered at the high school level, it also provides tips, techniques and informative how-to articles for teachers of grades K-8 and undergraduate college "Astro 101" courses. Our mission is to increase the amount of astronomy in the school systems and improve the skills of teachers.

Issue 21
Table of Contents


Cover Story!  The Hermeneutics of the Hogwarts School for Magic and Wizardry - Astronomy in the Harry Potter novels and films have been done before, but as a teacher, don't you wonder about the whole curriculum?  We use two qualitative research methods that you yourself can use with students or pre-service teachers to figure out the curriculum, its entire science component, its philosophical underpinnings, and its origins.  Examples of Muggle teachers using Harry Potter to teach science are also given.

Longitude and Latitude on a Stick--Anywhere! - Everybody knows you can get your latitude by observing Polaris but did you know you have more than one way to measure your latitude or longitude, and that you can do so from anywhere in the world, north or south?  You don't need a pole star to do so, just a pole! 

Reeling In the Next Generation Science Standards--One Educator's Approach - Oh, no, not another national standard to adjust your course curriculum!  Here is how one educator to a popular online resource and made it conform to the NGSS, and how you can do so for your own courses. 

Teaching Astronomy on the Roof of the World - More than a review of Chris Impey's book Humble Before the Void, this article gives insight to astronomy teachers on how to teach while keeping respect for other cultures' views and different student backgrounds.


Astronomical Teachniques - An inexpensive celestial sphere used in Thailand to teach about the Sun's daily and annual motions can be useful at any latitude, and it is easy to make.

More Than the Moon Gets Eclipsed; Humor and a Teachnique - In early preparation for the next total lunar eclipse, here's a way to easily demonstrate umbras and penumbras, and a text message exchange between adult and student about 'homework."

My View of the Classroom Universe - (Editorial) - Where've We Been?  Why this issue was delayed, and what's in our future.


Teachers' Winter Planning Sky Calendar {click here!}

Pictures from this Issue!

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Journal and Review of Astronomy Education and Outreach

A Scholarly Publication of Research, News and Commentary
JRAEO cover issue 2

Why Subscribe?

...this website and the quarterly publications would certainly be one of my most valuable resources...(they) have many practical suggestions for classroom and evening activities to make astronomy more accessible for high school students. - W. Brouwer, reviewer, Alberta, Canada AAPT section

Most articles in TCA are up to the standard of The Science Teacher. - B. Palmquist, professor of physics/science education, Central Washington University

...(TCA) is notable for its infectious enthusiasm.  Give this unpretentious journal a chance. - Magazines for Libraries

Your magazine will be a good resource both for me, and for the B. Ed. students who are taking the elementary science course...Well-done! - Terry Bridger, Queens University, Canada

I just spent my lunch hour reading through it, and it's a lot of fun with some good classroom ideas ready to go. - Colin Jagoe, Kawartha Pine Ridge, District School Board, Canada

I have just subscribed to your magazine and have read the fall issue. What a great concept! What a fantastic resource! Thank you for taking your love of the skies and turning it into something that will help us teachers create a future generation of knowledgeable sky observers! - Deborah J. Snow, Perrysburg Jr. High, OH

An impressive mass of interesting material! - Guy Ottewell, Author Astronomical Calendar

Which Toy Planetarium Would A Teacher Want?

Finding spectra of gas tubes, street lights that cause light pollution, and the Sun with Vernier's SpectroVis

The End of the World!  What? Again? All about the 2012 Nonsense and Educational Activities to Show Why

Using Vernier sensors to monitor light, temperature and sky color during any solar eclipse.

Gnomon Knowledge - Sundials Are A Global Activity

For four articles on lunar eclipses and measuring the Moon, see under Links.

On The Trail of William Herschel

Year Round Teaching Tool - Astronomy of the Northern Sky---A Sky Quest, Lives of the Stars

Testing Your Binocular Limits with Binaries

For more--download the FREE 16-page Sampler Issue Here!

Do you have a story idea, or a Teach-nique?  Contribute a story!
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The Classroom Astronomer is published by Hermograph Press LLC, Marietta, GA

Publisher/Editor: Dr. Larry Krumenaker