Star Book Illustrates Stellar Phases

Star Book Illustrates Stellar Phases

Kelson reads one of the star books that uses a creative color.

Jack Moeller, Sports Editor

Jane Kelson’s geology classes created star books that identify the six phases in a star’s long life: nebula, proto star stable state, red giant, white dwarf, and black dwarf.

According to Kelson, the goal of the project was to foster better understanding of stellar evolution. “The idea is for students to learn the stages of stellar evolution and how astronomers discovered the stages. [Another reason] for students to understand that our sun is a star and it has a finite life cycle and the implications of that,” she said.

Kelson mentioned that stellar evolution is an important concept in astronomy. “By doing research, students will go more in-depth, internalize, and remember the information,” she said.

Senior JV Baldwin said that the project brought up interesting topics in astronomy. “It [the project] makes you realize how big the universe actually is. It is cool to learn about how far away the stars are and the different stages of them,” he said.

“The learning differs in the fact that they will use their research skills to gather information and synthesize ideas about stellar evolution,” Kelson said.

Kelson said that the project called for creativity as well as content knowledge. “The project allows students to be creative in how they present stellar evolution. Some students are really artistic, and get to show off their skills. Some get images off of the internet. Everyone can use their particular skills and talents, and successfully complete the project,” she said.

Junior Austin Clarke said that he enjoys the latitude provided by the project. “It is a nice, fun, way to show off our information that we have learned. It is nice that we can add our own personal touches,” he said.

“Basically, you can control what you put in it. You can choose the pictures, images, and the overall appearance [of the project],” Baldwin said.

According to Clarke, the hardest part of the project was “gathering the information” about stellar evolution.

“I enjoy watching the students learn stellar evolution, and the implications. I really enjoy the products that they produce. It is one of my favorite assignments to grade all year,” Kelson said.