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Astronomy 101 – Thursday – Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 – 20 Weeks -Grades 8-12

Thursday, September 14 2023 @ 1:00PM Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 2:30PM EDT


Jonathan Meola

Instructor Email:



8 – 12

Day of Week:


Class Times:

1:00PM – 2:30PM (ET)


Fall 2023 and Winter 2024

AP / Honors / NCAA Approved

NCAA Approved Course


Thursday, September 14 2023 @ 1:00PM EDT
Thursday, March 21 2024 @ 2:30PM EDT
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Virtual (Jigsaw/Canvas)
+1 203 741 8570
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Tickets will be available on Wednesday, March 1 2023

Learners who wish to study astronomy face challenges in a traditional classroom setting which prevent them from gaining a true appreciation of the subject. For starters, many courses lack engaging visual aids such as images, videos, or animations that can help learners to better their understanding of complex concepts. Additionally, some courses rely solely on textbooks which may not be updated frequently enough to reflect the latest scientific discoveries and research, which can make the information presented seem outdated. Furthermore, the terminology can be dense and technical, making it difficult for those learners with weaker reading skills to fully comprehend the material. This can make it harder for them to truly appreciate the subject, while engaging with the material and retaining the information presented.

Astronomy 101 is a 20-week high-school level course that provides learners with a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles of astronomy. The course covers topics such as our solar system, stars, galaxies, the properties and behavior of light, as well as an history of astronomy and an introduction to cosmology, and how new technologies have made great strides in increasing our understanding of the universe as a whole. Furthermore, the course will introduce the learner to current topics and trends in astronomical research. 

This is a wide-ranging introduction to the study of astronomy. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities, learners will gain a deeper understanding of the universe and our place in it. Additionally, learners will learn about telescopes and other equipment which will assist them in making their own astronomical observations. They will be encouraged to think critically about the scientific method and the nature of scientific inquiry. Participants will also learn how to take ‘mind-mapping notes’ as we study in order to better develop an understanding and retention of key concepts.

This class seeks to foster greater familiarity with and appreciation for the efforts of thosevisionaries who revolutionized our understanding of not only our world and the solar system, but the universe as a whole, and how they did so while taking on immense risks and challenges,  all in pursuit of never-before accomplished achievements.

There will be weekly mind-mapping exercises assigned to learners in this course, which will serve to summarize session content. This technique will be demonstrated in our first session. 

As noted above, there will be opportunities for students to observe astronomical phenomena throughout the course.

There will also be: 

  • a midterm exam
  • a final exam
  • a class project, to be completed and shared following the winter break

This class is worth 1 high school credit in a non-lab science or elective.

NOTE: This class must reach the minimum of five students by August 20th to run. If we do not reach this minimum, parents will be notified via email.

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