Labs from YSI 94.

Here are some of the labs and lesson plans used by instructors during the Yerkes Summer Institute (YSI) in August 1994.

Important Disclaimers and Caveats

The schedule from YSI 94 is on-line. There are also several pictures of the labs on line.


Craters!
(day lab, written and taught by Luisa Rebull)
By playing with flour and powdered drink mix, we make craters that bear a striking resemblance to the real thing.

Individual Sundial.
(Cloud/Rain Activity, written and taught by April Whitt)
We make a simple sundial and learn how to use it, including why it tells a different time than our watches.

Individual Sundial 2.
(Cloud/Rain Activity, written and taught by April Whitt; based on an activity by Dennis Schatz, Pacific Science Center)
Another way for us to make a simple sundial and learn how to use it, but this one is currently missing a graphic.

Measuring the Speed of Light.
(day lab, written and taught by Dr. Rich Kron)
Using "ghosting" on a tv and the distance between the tv and the only thing big enough to reflect the signal (the 40-inch dome), we measure the speed of light.

Model of the Solar System.
(day lab, written and taught by Dr. Heidi Newberg)
We use the Yerkes grounds to build a scale model of the Solar System, complete with correct position with respect to the Sun. We must calculate correct sizes of the planets themselves as well as the size of the orbits.

Observing the Outer Planets.
(night lab, written and taught by Dr. Rich Kron)
We use the 10-inch Cassegrain reflector to observe the outer planets; we learn about setting circles (hour angles and declination) in order to do so.

Our Sky Clock.
(day lab, taught and adapted from Project SPICA by April Whitt)
We learn how to tell time using the stars.

Simple Measurements.
(day lab, written and taught by April Whitt)
We determine the heights of things using shadows.

Small Angle Calculations.
(day lab, taught and adapted from Project SPICA by April Whitt)
We learn about the small angle approximation and measure small angles in degrees without using a protractor, calibrate a hand for estimating angles in the sky, and determine the angular size of Jupiter in the night sky.

Stellar Spectroscopy.
(night lab, written and taught by Luisa Rebull and Dr. Al Harper)
Using hand-held diffraction gratings, we first look at emission lines from a large collection of gas discharge tubes owned by the University of Chicago, then (in theory) we go out to the 24-inch telescope and use a special eyepiece with a diffraction grating to look at real-time stellar spectra of bright stars.