Glencoe Earth Science

Unit 7: Astronomy

WebQuest Projects



Astronomers classify our solar system's Sun as a typical G2 star. However, the importance of the Sun to life on Earth is anything but ordinary. Energy from the Sun is responsible for photosynthesis, powers the ocean currents, shapes Earth's climate, and influences many other factors important for the existence of life on our planet. But what are the physical characteristics of the Sun? What is the relationship between the energy the Sun puts out and life on Earth? In this WebQuest, you will explore the Sun and its properties to find the answers to these questions. You will also explore the history of science to understand how scientific illustrations have shaped our understanding of the world we live in. You will create a scientific illustration of the Sun and write descriptions of some of its features.



Your job in this WebQuest is to learn about the Sun, its physical characteristics, and how energy from the Sun affects life on Earth. You will answer a set of questions about the Sun to demonstrate what you have learned. Once you've conducted some research to increase your knowledge of the Sun, you'll create an illustration of the physical characteristics of the Sun. You'll label features on the diagram and write a description of each feature.



2-3 days to answer the set of questions and illustrate and describe the features of the Sun



First, read through the following set of questions before you begin your Internet research. As you explore each site, look for answer to the questions.

Questions about Investigating the Sun

  1. What are some physical characteristics of the Sun?

  2. How much energy is released by the Sun?

  3. Does the Sun make noise?

  4. What is the energy balance or energy budget in relation to the Sun and Earth?

  5. Why has scientific illustration been historically important to the advancement of the body of scientific knowledge?

Next, visit the Web sites listed to find more ideas you can use to create an illustration of the Sun. You'll label important features of the Sun on your diagram and write a description for each of the features. The accuracy of content in scientific illustrations is more important than artistic technique.

You may use any type of media you choose to create the illustration. You may use a word processing program, if you like, to write and publish the descriptions.



Look at the web sites provided here to find the information that will help you answer questions about the Sun and gather information to use as you create your illustration of the Sun.

    Find out more about scientific illustration by visiting Gina Mikel's Web site. Read about this scientific illustrator's business and see examples of her work.



Review the rubric to understand how your scientific illustration and descriptions will be evaluated.



In the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve become informed about hybrid electric vehicles. You have learned about the advantages of a hybrid electric vehicle as compared to a conventional vehicle, and by what amount HEVs can reduce emissions that result in air pollution. You have learned more about how HEVs work, and about the different types of HEVs. You have developed research skills as you explored the web sites given and identified the relevant information to answer the set of questions above. Would you recommend that people purchase hybrid electric vehicles?



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