Author Archives: davidvblack

About davidvblack

I teach courses in multimedia, 3D animation, Earth science, physics, biology, 8th grade science, chemistry, astronomy, engineering design, STEAM, and computer science in Utah. I've won numerous awards as an educator and am a frequent presenter at state and national educator conferences. I am part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms program through the U.S. Department of State and traveled to Indonesia in the summer of 2017 as an education ambassador. I learned of the Indonesian education system and taught classes in astronomy and chemistry at a high school near Banjarmasin in southern Borneo. I am passionate about STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics); science history; photography; graphic design; 3D animation; and video production. This Spaced-Out Classroom blog is for sharing lessons and activities my students have done in astronomy. The Elements Unearthed project (http://elementsunearthed.com) will combine my interests to document the discovery, history, sources, uses, mining, refining, and hazards of the chemical elements.

Two Famous Alien Abduction Tales

In this blog post I will share two essays written by students in my astrophysics class this summer as an exercise in critical thinking and making claims based on evidence. They both report alien abduction cases that became quite famous, … Continue reading

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Famous UFO Incidents: 1948-1954

The UFO craze of 1947 wasn’t the last incident of URO sightings. It was just the beginning of what would be a long series of incidents through the 1950s and 1960s. The U.S. Air Force was concerned enough to begin … Continue reading

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The 1947 UFO Craze

During June and July of 1947 there was a wave of UFO incidents, many of which made national news and have become the sources of persistent popular beliefs regarding UFOs, flying saucers, and Little Green Men. As a final project … Continue reading

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UFO Incidents: Battle of Los Angeles and Foo Fighters

Over the next several days I will be posting a series of short articles written by my astrophysics students this summer. As our final assignment, I asked the students to investigate various famous UFO sightings and alien abduction incidents and … Continue reading

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A Modification of the Drake Equation

by David Black It has been two years since Lily wrote the article in my previous post and I am only now putting together the 4th edition of our Ad Astra Per Educare student newsletter which will include her article. … Continue reading

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What We Know About the Drake Equation

Written by Lily M. In 1961 an astronomer named Frank Drake created the Drake Equation. He created it for a way to understand the factors involved in finding life outside our Earth in our galaxy and to roughly calculate the … Continue reading

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My UFO (or is it UAP?) Encounter

It was just past sunset on a cold, clear winter evening in early December. I was driving south down I-15 past the small town of Mona, Utah and the small reservoir nearby. I was teaching at a residential treatment center … Continue reading

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The Nearby Stars

A Tour of the Star Systems within 13.0 light years of Earth. As a media design teacher at Mountainland Applied Technology College from 2000-2009, I created an activity to teach layout design and desktop publishing software with students creating their … Continue reading

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I Have Loved the Stars

My first planetarium software was an old black and white program that ran on a Macintosh Classic computer. I have tried to find a reference for it, but can’t remember its name. As a physics teacher at Juab High School … Continue reading

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An Interview with Dr. Rakesh Mogul of NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection

The Office of Planetary Protection’s primary role is to minimize the biological contamination of the solar system that may result from human based exploration – robotic exploration and basic human exploration. Continue reading

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