South Orangetown Central School District

8th graders graph constellations

Leading up to the Mid-Winter Recess, K-8 Science Instructional Coach Samantha Levine took eighth graders on a journey through the universe during their math classes.

To teach students about the history and myths associated with the stars in the sky, Levine invited math classes into the StarLab, an inflatable planetarium which projects star constellations and planets for students to get a visualization of the galaxy. Students got to see projections of various constellations including Draco, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major and Orion as Levine showed them the stars that connect them and what shapes they form.

For their math assignment, students had to choose four different constellations and graph their coordinates. Eighth graders are currently learning about graphing and rules for transformations so for each constellation, they had to translate, reflect, dilate and rotate the images into the different quadrants. In addition to each graph, students had to write a brief paragraph about each constellation that they chose by summarizing the mythology associated with them.