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.

A Constellation in a Box

Several weeks ago I wrote up a lesson plan as part of a contest sponsored by ORISE, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Winners of the contest would receive an all-expenses paid trip to the National Science Teachers … Continue reading

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Farewell to Opportunity

NASA announced last week that the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover has been declared dead after over 14 years of operation. When a global dust storm enshrouded Mars last year, the rover probably became so covered with dust that its solar … Continue reading

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Evaluating the Mars Project at AAI

Our student teams made their final summative project presentations on April 28, 2017 to teacher judges during the day and to the public in the evening. I wrote about these presentations in my last post. In this post, I want … Continue reading

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The Big Mars Day: Presenting our Final Projects

After our return from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference we had about one more month to finish up our school-wide Mars Exploration projects. Thirteen teams had condensed down to eleven and were (for the most part) intently working towards … Continue reading

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Presenting at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

An Exemplary Teacher I have been blessed by learning from some of the best teachers in Utah, both as a student and as a colleague. The best teacher of all was J. Fay Jacobsen, a science and math teacher at … Continue reading

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A Poster at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

As our school-wide Mars Exploration project got underway at American Academy of Innovation, I wanted to give the team leaders an opportunity to share what they were doing with a larger audience and meet the people who are actually planning … Continue reading

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Launching the Mars Project

With our first semester seminars done in the middle of January 2017, the students were as ready as they could be to start our school-wide Mars Exploration project at American Academy of Innovation. Whether or not the teachers were ready … Continue reading

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