Take a trip through the cosmos in this 30 week course.  What are the planets made of?  How are stars formed and what is their life cycle?  What is the composition of the sun and how does it shine?  By studying the movement, position, and make up of celestial bodies, students can gain perspective of their place within.  But don’t worry, this course will be more than just a trip through a text book! 

We will use a combination of Astronomy: A Self Teaching Guide 8th Edition and online resources.  Students will be asked to help teach the course by bringing to class informative projects on a regular basis that will bring difficult subjects to life for their fellow classmates.  They may display understanding in a variety of ways as they choose and as are appropriate to the subject at hand, including, but not limited to: power point presentations, oral presentations, poster board explanations, dioramas, videography, etc.

Students will deepen their understanding and enhance their course experience with experiments and projects like a rocket launch; creating a model of the solar system; and in-depth model of a celestial body; building their own planetarium project / constellation box; a project to model / mimic the phases of the moon; and designing their own planet and alien inhabitants.  We will also take a trip to the Pink Palace’s Sharp Planetarium!    

Students can earn bonus points by keeping others up to date on cosmic events happening during the school year.

Class homework requirements: Weekly time allowance for class prep / homework: between 1.5-3 hours is a reasonable estimate.  Some students will skim the underside of 90 mins while others will have to be cut off post 3 hours.  You know your child.  The bulk of what is assigned can be completed to a passable standard within 90 minutes a week.  However, be warned: it’s interesting stuff!  If Student likes to go down the rabbit hole then we can really start to use up some time, but what a wonderful use of time!!!


  • Internet access
  • One parent led shopping trip

In addition to the supply fee, parents will be required to provide $15 cash.  Second semester, after researching various models, Student will use this money to go on a parent led shopping trip to purchase supplies for a rocket which they will assemble and launch in class.  Their spending is limited to the $15, but additional household items may be used.

Text: Astronomy: A Self Teaching Guide; Eighth edition; Dinah L. Moché

A PDF can be purchased online for aprox. $8 or the text for $12 and up


Time: 9:00-10:30
Grade:  6-8
Class Fees: $350
Supply fee: $85 (supplies used in the classroom) rocket supplies/planetarium fee additional
Tutor: Candace Fortino

COVID-19 Contingency Plan:
In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom for the 2020-21 school year, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Assignments can be submitted electronically, and feedback will be provided electronically.  Group projects and group collaboration will be encouraged via online methods, but adjustments will be made as needed.  Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.