CT and Kepler’s 3rd Law

The Kepler spacecraft made some incredible discoveries over the years. The planetary system Kepler-11 is very interesting. It is a very compact solar system with 6 planets. Of course, the spacecraft is named for Johannes Kepler who first empirically determined the now famous three laws of planetary motion.

Kepler-11 System from NASA Exoplanet Catalog

I felt like this small dataset would make a great computational thinking (CT) activity. CT can mean writing programming code or working with a spreadsheet to do some data science or creating or using a model or simulation. The goal is to explore Kepler’s 3rd law of planetary motion.

Kepler’s 3rd Law

In the original activity, students linear the data set using Kepler’s 3rd law of planetary motion to determine the mass of the star Kepler-11. Check out the spreadsheet version here. This is meant to be an introductory exercise is working with data in a spreadsheet. Students create a plot and answer questions using some basic skills.

Spreadsheet Version of Kepler’s 3rd Law Lab

Although the spreadsheet version of the lab worked out pretty well, I decided to make a Desmos calculator version. Students can work with the whole list of planetary data all at once. This is more like a students creating a numerical model to find the mass of the star. Check out the Desmos version here.

Desmos Version of Kepler’s 3rd Law Lab

Finally I decided to create a version of the Kepler’s 3rd law lab using some Python code in Google Colab. This version uses some standard data science techniques to determine the mass of the central star in the Kepler-11 system. Check out the Google Colab version on my GitHub repository.

Google Colab Python version of Kepler’s 3rd Law

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CAST 2021

Come see either of my CAST 2021 sessions.

Thursday, Nov 11, 2021 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM CST
Location: Sundance 6, Omni Hotel
Session Code: 20068

Check out our CAST 2021 presentation and equivalent-width spectroscopy lab activity. Also visit the project webpage for a lot more info. There is also a coding version of the lab as well.

Friday, Nov 12, 2021 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Location: 200, Fort Worth Convention Center
Session Code: 5067

Check out my solo CAST 2021 presentation and visit the project webpage for a lot more info including activities and code.

Cultural Perspective of STEM Education: Leaping the Cycle Forward

Barriers and solutions from the 4 perspectives: 1) Black women in STEM. 2) What women in STEM 3) First-generation college students. 4) the dominant group (mainly white men). Review the Jamboard results and see how these fantastic participants laid it all out, including some solutions!

Results from live, in-session polls

What solutions we can address in our own classrooms?

  1. Teach your students to fight for their beliefs
  2. LISTEN, address, and correct while still providing a nurturing and educating environment (Kinder)
  3. Set an environment that makes them feel comfortable talking to you . Building anrelationship.
  4. Destroy stereotypes by inviting URM speakers and sponsoring mentors with my students.
  5. Provide an class that all are ACCEPTED!
  6. Listen more and take their ideas and thoughts into consideration. Build that trust
  7. Creating mentoring chances
  8. Making sure to represent all of our students’ backgrounds and show their voices.
  9. Building relationships and mentorships
  10. Co-generative dialogs with learners

How can we share our knowledge with our peers on our respective campuses?

  1. Listen to the learners.
  2. Invite speakers on diversity
  3. Continuing to being willing to collaborate, but also to EDUCATE.
  4. Town Halls on campuses to discuss our perspectives.
  5. Having conversations and surround yourself with a diverse group of people.
  6. PLC
  7. Lead a lunch session about cultural perspectives in STEM
  8. During our PLCs.
  9. Listen to non-dominant groups