Astronomy (Honors and D.E.)

Welcome to Dr. Bell's class of Astronomy!


In this class we will cover a number topics including but not limited to; Astronomy and the Universe, Our Planetary System, Stars and Stellar Evolution, as well as Galaxies and Cosmology. A number of projects and viewing nights are also planned and may require students to be free during some evenings for observations. 

One of my favorite videos and speeches by Carl Sagan below: 


Astronomy Syllabus


Pine View School
1Python Path      •      Osprey, Florida 34229
(941) 486-2001   Fax: (941) 486-2042  

Stephen P. Covert, Ph.D., Principal                         Melissa Abela, Assistant Principal     
Tricia Allen, Assistant Principal of Curriculum                    Tara Spielman, Assistant Principal

Course Description & Expectations
Teacher:  Dr. Bell   Grade level: 10-12    Room:126
Textbook: Astronomy Today, 9th Edition (Pearson)

History of astronomy, astronomy as a physical science, properties of light, telescopes, structure and evolution of the Sun, planets, moons, other bodies in the Solar System, stars, the Milky Way galaxy, other galaxies, history of the Universe (Big Bang theory)

Please refer to the High School Supply List. Must always bring notebook paper, red and black pen, pencil, dry erase markers, tissues, wired headphones, refillable water bottle (save the planet and a trip to the water fountain). BRING WIFI ENABLED DEVICE THAT YOU CAN TYPE WITH AND HAS ACCESS TO BLACKBOARD (knowledge checks and worksheets will be completed digitally this year to limit paper usage and covid-19). Masks that follow CDC guidelines are required to be worn while in the classroom.

Grades:    Grades are based on the following:
1. Tests and quizzes (60%)
Tests are always announced at least a week in advance. Tests typically include about 10 vocabulary questions, at least 30 multiple-choice questions, and 2 essay questions. Quizzes are based on recent homework or video presentations and are often unannounced. An appointment to make up a test or quiz must be made immediately after returning from absence. Students will be given one day to make up missed work for each day absent (school policy).

2. Labs and Notebooks (20%)
Lab activity papers are generally due no sooner than 2 school days after the class work portion is completed but will incur a 10% penalty for each day it is late because lab equipment is often shared among teachers and the activities are coordinated to reinforce a sequential curriculum. 

Students are required to keep 3 sections in a 3-ring notebook for science. Students must be organized and keep everything that is handed back because notebooks are checked several times during each marking period. The 3 sections in the notebook include:
SECTION 1. Class notes (guided notes given in class and notes taken at home)    
SECTION 2. Homework, Knowledge checks and Class Work papers    
SECTION 3. Lab reports (experiments requiring equipment to collect or analyze data)

3. Homework, Knowledge Checks and Employability (20%)
-Homework will be assigned about 4 times per week (reading assignments and/or worksheets). Worksheets will be graded as follows:
        A - completed with reasonable effort shown        B - completed satisfactorily
        C or D - incomplete or substandard            F - not submitted
-Text book readings will be graded for comprehension with open-note Knowledge Checks at the beginning of many classes (5 questions). Homework must be done on time to be prepared for class activities. One-day late worksheets, therefore, will be worth 50% off per day. 
-Participation in class, including answering questions and working well in group projects. Students are expected to arrive to class on-time. Tardiness results in a deduction of employability points and cuts into the student’s time for the Knowledge Checks given 4 times a week. Follow school rules and conduct. 

When class is scheduled to begin, students should be in their seats with their homework, text, pencil, and notebook out, ready to begin. Disruptive behavior deprives the entire class of their education and is, of course, unacceptable. The following progressive discipline plan will be followed:
    1. Student is issued a specific, individual, verbal warning.
    2. Student is assigned lunch detention, which includes the completion of an Action Plan Worksheet.
    3. Office referral, parents notified. In the unlikely event of truly gross misconduct, steps may be bypassed.

Class Rules:
    1.  Arrive on time, or with a pass in hand.
    2.  Stay in your seat during class (except to sharpen pencil, or during some lab activities).
    3.  Raise your hand to talk (when appropriate), except sometimes during group work.
    4.  No disruptive behavior (cell phone, talking, note-passing, throwing things, etc.)
    5.  No vandalism (like writing on the desk).
    6.  Come to class prepared - have notebook, text, pen or pencil, completed homework.
    7.  No food, drink, or gum-chewing in class. This is a school-wide policy.

Parental Contact:
Parents will be contacted when a student’s grade falls below 70%, although day to day progress can be monitored online, and can be accessed through the county’s website. Conduct issues may also result in parental contact.

Academic Honor Code:
Students are expected to uphold the honor code and understand the consequences of choosing academic dishonesty.
Dr. Bell doesn’t take kindly to cheating, and violators will be treated accordingly.

Lab Donation:
A $15.00 donation is requested to help offset the cost of lab materials and equipment. Donations are not required but are greatly appreciated.

Teacher Contact and Office Hours:
Dr. Bell can be contacted by phone at school during the following office hours:
12:09 AM to 1:01 PM (period 6), and 1:06 PM to 1:58 PM (period 7).
Please allow 24 hours for calls that were not made during office hours to be returned.
tel. # (941) 486-2001
Please sign below signifying you and your parent has read and understand the above material: 
Student name (printed and signature)
Parent name (printed and signature)