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Our Wisconsin charter school uses scientific research and project-based learning as the focus of our curriculum. Project learning is based on a constructivist model of learning that engages you in real-world scholarly activity because you get to chose topics that interest you.
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Learning About Astronomy

Posted on February 4, 2013 by Nate Larson

Lately in the Wildlands Middle School, Mr. Hadorn has been leading an Astronomy unit. We have been doing various projects that help us learn about stars and constellations.
Our first project was a constellation paper. Each middle school student chose a circumpolar constellation and did a small report and sketch of it. That was very fun. The next project was making individual travel brochures about a space object. Some of the information, such as the weather and physical features of the object, was factual. We got to use our creativity to make up some fictional aspects, like how to travel to it and your accommodation. The third project we did was tests with a spectrum. A spectrum is a scope that finds the light signature of different lights. The spectrum can also help you learn about what stars are made out of based on their light signature.  Our class paired up and looked at all the lights in the school with the spectrums scope. It was really cool learning about how to use the spectrum.  For our latest project, we split up into groups of three and made a diagram showing how stars form and their different forms.
Along with the projects, Mr. Hadorn has let us have some extra fun by watching videos about stars and the history of astronomy.  We even got to use the Star Lab; a big inflated dome that you walk into to look at all of the circumpolar constellations being projected all over the inside of the dome. It helped give all of us an idea of where the constellations are in the night sky that we see.
This unit has been very interesting so far. I believe that we have all had fun learning about astronomy and about our universe. I can't wait to finish this project and learn even more about astronomy.

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In the winter of 2011, Wildlands Charter School students began producing news stories for our website and an electronic email newsletter.

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