This is a 20-question student worksheet accompanying NOVA video: Invisible Universe Revealed. The questions on this worksheet focus on the mathematics wherever possible. The video is NOT included here. As of June 2015, it was available for free on pbs.org
Also included is an answer key for the worksheet.
The video Invisible Universe Revealed is a good video to show high school math students from Algebra 1 to Calculus. While it will not show students exactly how to solve certain problems, it does give students insight into how mathematics can be used in the “real world.”
A few of the highlights of this video are below:
•Illustrates the wave patterns of light, and explains how the different wave patterns can be interpreted.
•Discusses significance of the distances of stars and the difficulty of measuring such distances.
•Discusses how distances can be measured using stars of known brightness.
•Shows how varying focal points of light rays will result in blurry images.
•Discusses how the Hubble space telescope was able to aid in calculating the age of the universe, and the number of stars in the universe.
I usually show these kinds of videos towards the end of the school year, as a reward, or during the year when I want to give my students a break from our regular routine. Most of my students like the fact that the video helps to answer the question, “how is math relevant to the ‘real’ world?”