Labs from YSI 95.

Here are some of the labs and lesson plans used by instructors during the Yerkes Summer Institute (YSI) in August 1995.

Important Disclaimers and Caveats

The schedule from YSI 95 is on-line. There are also several pictures of the labs and final student reports on line.


Calculating The Moon's Width.
(night lab, taught and adapted from Project SPICA by April Whitt)
We indirectly measure the width of the moon.

The Grating Spectrometer.
(day lab, written and taught by Jim Sweitzer.)
We learn about grating, diffraction, waves, and interference.

How Bright are the Stars?
(night lab, written and taught by Todd Duncan and Al Harper)
We learn how to use the brightness of stars to determine how much energy is reaching us from them.

Predicting the Configuration of the Satellites of Jupiter.
(night lab, written and taught by Rich Kron and Rich Dreiser)
We plot the current positions of the Galilean satellites and make a scale model that fits in a window in the main building; we then look at the real thing (if it's clear) and our model in the other building with the 10-inch.

Shadow Observations.
(day lab, taught and adapted from Project SPICA by April Whitt)
Using a plastic film canister as a gnomon, we record shadows at specified times during the session, which we then compare with shadows recorded at the same times from different geographical areas.

How much energy does the Earth receive from the Sun?
(day lab, written and taught by Todd Duncan)
By using the Sun to heat up some coffee, we determine how much energy the Earth receives from the Sun.

Studying the Sun and Sunspots
(day lab, taught by Rich Dreiser)
We learn about the Sun and sunspots, and we make observations of the Sun with the 10-inch.

Sun's Path.
(day lab, taught and adapted from project STAR materials by April Whitt)
We use clear plastic hemispheres and markers to record the apparent motion of the Sun across the sky. Plastic hemispheres for this summer were donated by Greg Gansz of Learning Technologies, 59 Walden Street, Cambridge, MA, 02140, phone 800-537-8703.

Telescopes.
(day lab, written and taught by Rich Kron)
We build a telescope and learn about magnification, fields of view, and seeing, among other things.

Transmitter Hunt.
(day lab, written and taught by Chris Knox)
Using a very neat transmitter Mr. Knox designed with the chip from a recordable Hallmark card, the students learn about interference by going on a transmitter hunt.