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How are Stars like People?

David Rothstein
2005-2006 CSIP Fellow


In this activity, students will learn about populations of stars by making an analogy with human populations. They will graph properties of humans and stars (the latter using real astronomical data) and look for relationships between the properties they graph. Finally, they will determine what can be learned about each population using this technique and decide ways in which the technique is limited.

This activity serves as an introduction to stellar astronomy, but it also works as an illustration of the general methods that scientists use when confronted with a new set of data that they are trying to understand.

Downloadable files:

Teacher's Guide
Photographs of Stars and Human Crowds
Data Sheets
Blank Graphs
Filled Graphs
Height / Shoe Size
M3 Data

Photo credits:

Pleiades star cluster -- © Robert Gendler
Human crowd -- Wikipedia





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