## 1. FUNdamental Motions of the Sky (7 min 45 sec) FUN Motions of the Sky

I call this lesson, "The Inspiration from Heaven" lesson. Truly, after having taught Astronomy for a few semesters, I was toward the end of a semester (it was warm out, so it must have been spring) when during a lesson I was upset with myself because the students didn't seem to catch onto even the most elementary motions of the sky yet. So I literally said, "Forget this lesson, lets go outside, bring something to take notes on." ; and we walked outside and this FUNdamental Motions of the Sky with the headings Day, Month, Year came into my mind as I was teaching it. I had not thought of any of this material previously, or even just before I taught it, it came to me instantaneously as I was speaking it. I am a Christian and unbelievable things happen to me often but this was one of the greatest inspirational real time ideas that have ever popped into my mind in my 61 plus years of life on this planet.

I haven't taught Astronomy for over four years now but here are some videos I made, (during the first of two school days called off because of cold weather), in front of my empty classroom, to give you some idea of some of the beginning GNATS I start the first week with. This FUNdamental Motions of the Sky is a must lecture that everyone should hear and understand. This can be given in 13 minutes or less with practice (It took me exactly 13 minutes the very 1st time I did it but it wasn't me.)

I haven't taught Astronomy for over four years now but here are some videos I made, (during the first of two school days called off because of cold weather), in front of my empty classroom, to give you some idea of some of the beginning GNATS I start the first week with. This FUNdamental Motions of the Sky is a must lecture that everyone should hear and understand. This can be given in 13 minutes or less with practice (It took me exactly 13 minutes the very 1st time I did it but it wasn't me.)

## This is a must watch. Something everyone should ponder as they gaze at the night sky.

## 2. Leap Year Rules (4 min)

The story goes that I had run into a math teacher back in 1999 and we had a discussion about whether the upcoming year (2000) was a leap year or not. I had taught computer programming for years and my students had written programs that determined whether a year was a leap year or not; so I thought I was an expert on the subject and said it was not going to be a leap year because it ended in two zero's. I WAS WRONG.

So, I lost the bet that day and decided to figure out for myself not only what the leap year rules were but why they were.

I knew that we had a leap year every four years because there were 365.25 days in a year. BUT what if it wasn't exactly 365.25 days? When looking it up I found out it was 365.24219 days in a year and thus here is the following pattern and where I went with it... The Leap Year Handout Sheet What is cool at the end is that I extended the pattern to discover a 4th leap year rule and then challenge the students to discover a 5th leap year rule continuing the pattern even further for 50 pts. (showing all their calculations similar to how showed them).

Students also can GNATS (teach this to at least five other people for 10 pts. per person) for another 50 pts.

So, I lost the bet that day and decided to figure out for myself not only what the leap year rules were but why they were.

I knew that we had a leap year every four years because there were 365.25 days in a year. BUT what if it wasn't exactly 365.25 days? When looking it up I found out it was 365.24219 days in a year and thus here is the following pattern and where I went with it... The Leap Year Handout Sheet What is cool at the end is that I extended the pattern to discover a 4th leap year rule and then challenge the students to discover a 5th leap year rule continuing the pattern even further for 50 pts. (showing all their calculations similar to how showed them).

Students also can GNATS (teach this to at least five other people for 10 pts. per person) for another 50 pts.

## Did you know there are 3 leap year rules? What about a fourth one?Can you discover a 5th?

## 3. History of Our Calendar (6 min 18 sec) and Days of the Week in Several Languages

The story goes that now that I was teaching Astronomy and trying to make it the most exciting learning opportunity students have ever experienced, I needed more cool everyday things that affect there lives that came from Astronomy. Sooooo... I researched the history of our Calendar and condensed it down to just this one side of one page so it could be taught in 13 minutes or less covering the highlights of each of the four steps.

Of course, at the end, students can either just GNATS (teach it to five other people) and/or come up with an improvement to our calendar in order to make a fifth one with the least amount of changes to this calendar. We currently have 27 different calendars as every 28 years they repeat themselves. Would it not be convenient to have just one calendar instead of 27 different ones? Think about the consequences!

Of course, at the end, students can either just GNATS (teach it to five other people) and/or come up with an improvement to our calendar in order to make a fifth one with the least amount of changes to this calendar. We currently have 27 different calendars as every 28 years they repeat themselves. Would it not be convenient to have just one calendar instead of 27 different ones? Think about the consequences!

The cool ending to this lecture when you say that Pope Gregory declared the day following Oct. 4th 1582 would be Oct. 15th 1582. So, "What happened on Oct. 10th, 1582? Nothing because the day never existed (in order to get the seasons back on track because we only had the first leap year rule for over 1500 years and the seasons got off).

So when you mention we do this twice a year, and pause until, a student mentions daylight savings time, when you continue with the below discussion with the students.

Then I discuss, what if you were having twins; and one was born at 1:59 am and the other was born 2 minutes later at 1:01 a.m. because fell back an hour at 2 a.m.

Or better yet, on Sunday morning after you sprung ahead an hour in the spring. Ask at the breakfast table, "I wonder what happened at 2:13 a.m. last night?" The answer of course is nothing, as 2 a.m. became 3 a.m.!

This really gets kids thinking, that one can play around with time, and the calendar!!!!

So when you mention we do this twice a year, and pause until, a student mentions daylight savings time, when you continue with the below discussion with the students.

Then I discuss, what if you were having twins; and one was born at 1:59 am and the other was born 2 minutes later at 1:01 a.m. because fell back an hour at 2 a.m.

Or better yet, on Sunday morning after you sprung ahead an hour in the spring. Ask at the breakfast table, "I wonder what happened at 2:13 a.m. last night?" The answer of course is nothing, as 2 a.m. became 3 a.m.!

This really gets kids thinking, that one can play around with time, and the calendar!!!!

## We are on a 4th calendar? 27 different calendars before repeating the pattern!

## 4. The Konichek Improved Calendar (1 calendar instead of 27)(4 min 9 sec)

Dr. Hanke and Dr. Henry Calendar (2 calendars instead of 27)

## Think about a three day weekend to end every year and a four day weekend to end leap years! Imagine Sept (7), Oct (8), Nov (9), Dec (10), but still Jan being the god of beginnings. One calendar instead of 28 of them!

## 5. Time Zones blank sheet , Time Zones Smart Board Notes

The story behind time zones is that when I first started teaching Astronomy we had scavenger hunts where students could bring in junk from home for points that would add to the learning of Astronomy. Well, one of the items on the list was clocks (inexpensive battery operated clocks). Well, you would not believe the cool looking clocks that students wanted to get rid of. Soooo... I put clocks all around the classroom, one for each time zone. At the time I thought there were just 24 time zones (Earth turns 360 degrees at 15 degrees per hour thus 360/15 = 24 equal 15 degree each of longitude, time-zones) but somehow there were 25? When I finally realized that the international date line had its 15 degrees divided up so the line did not pass through any land so that the day of the week could change back a day? Meaning, if you go around the world instantaneously back to the time you left, it should be the same day of the week; BUT when you pass midnight going East you go ahead to the next day of the week SO somewhere you need to go back a day without changing the time of the day; SO when you get back to where you start, you are on the same day of the week.

## Here is how I use this sheet to teach Time Zones in the World. A must watch then you GNATS! (Go Now And Teach Someone!)(Teach to family, friends, neighbors)

Another great story involving Time Zones: Once upon a time I went to a lenten fish fry at St. Laurence Parish in Wisconsin Rapids. It happened that I sat down to a very tall priest named Fr. Mancl and he told me this story:

One day I was teaching and a student noticed the pocket watch hanging from my belt had the wrong time on it. So the student raised his hand in class and when called on, said, "Fr. Mancl, you have the wrong time on your watch!" I then realized that I had a teaching moment, and kindly said, "Son, I am probably the only one in Wisconsin Rapids with the correct time on my watch is the real truth!

You see, I am a pilot, and pilots carry Zulu time as anyone who quickly travels through time zones uses Zulu time and then just has to know how many hours to add or subtract from Zulu time to get the correct time in the time zone they currently find themselves.

Since satellites beam TV signals around the world, they will often give GMT (Greenwich Mean Time, or Universal Time (UT) or Zulu Time (from the military alphabet code the military gives to Time Zone names).

Try doing the time zone exercise yourself, starting at the current time where you are.

One day I was teaching and a student noticed the pocket watch hanging from my belt had the wrong time on it. So the student raised his hand in class and when called on, said, "Fr. Mancl, you have the wrong time on your watch!" I then realized that I had a teaching moment, and kindly said, "Son, I am probably the only one in Wisconsin Rapids with the correct time on my watch is the real truth!

You see, I am a pilot, and pilots carry Zulu time as anyone who quickly travels through time zones uses Zulu time and then just has to know how many hours to add or subtract from Zulu time to get the correct time in the time zone they currently find themselves.

Since satellites beam TV signals around the world, they will often give GMT (Greenwich Mean Time, or Universal Time (UT) or Zulu Time (from the military alphabet code the military gives to Time Zone names).

Try doing the time zone exercise yourself, starting at the current time where you are.

## 6. Kepler's 2nd Law : A planet sweeps out equal areas in equal intervals of time OR when a planet is closer to the Sun it moves faster.

You'll really enjoy this story!Once upon a time, the Astronomy students were doing Astronaut training in full scuba gear in the SPASH pool. I was video taping them under water by placing the big VHS camera in an empty aquarium with scuba weights on the far side so the camera could be against the glass under the water level.

Anyway, a student from New Zealand surfaced with a scuba breathing problem. I was thinking, she is from the southern hemisphere where it is summer now... The earth is closest to the sun in the northern hemisphere winter...According to Kepler, when we are closer to the sun we are going faster...so that means northern hemisphere winters are shorter and our summers are longer than the southern hemispheres.

I wonder how much different??? seconds, or minutes, or maybe even hours different????

So what if one counts the time from spring through summer to fall

and then count the time from that fall through winter to the following spring

how much different could it be?

Try it itself by google'ing when sprin, then fall and then the following spring is currently this year.

You will not believe the results unless you do it itself but

Here are my results the first time I did it. GNATS this! (Note: No video for this one but still enlightning. Click on my results to be amazed by the result.)

Anyway, a student from New Zealand surfaced with a scuba breathing problem. I was thinking, she is from the southern hemisphere where it is summer now... The earth is closest to the sun in the northern hemisphere winter...According to Kepler, when we are closer to the sun we are going faster...so that means northern hemisphere winters are shorter and our summers are longer than the southern hemispheres.

I wonder how much different??? seconds, or minutes, or maybe even hours different????

So what if one counts the time from spring through summer to fall

and then count the time from that fall through winter to the following spring

how much different could it be?

Try it itself by google'ing when sprin, then fall and then the following spring is currently this year.

You will not believe the results unless you do it itself but

Here are my results the first time I did it. GNATS this! (Note: No video for this one but still enlightning. Click on my results to be amazed by the result.)