Course Length:

One semester

Course Description:

Why do stars twinkle? Is it possible to fall into a black hole? Will the sun ever stop shining? Since the first glimpse of the night sky, humans have been fascinated with the stars, planets, and universe that surrounds us. This course will introduce students to the study of astronomy, including its history and development, basic scientific laws of motion and gravity, the concepts of modern astronomy, and the methods used by astronomers to learn more about the universe. Additional topics include the solar system, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and the sun and stars. Using online tools, students will examine the life cycle of stars, the properties of planets, and the exploration of space.


None; please review counseling notes below.

Counseling Notes:

  • Astronomy is not built to be a casual elective, and students should have successfully completed Algebra I to be successful in this course. The course is built for students that have 9th/10th-grade reading level or better to navigate the text-based lessons.

Comprehensive Syllabus:

Required Materials:

Most materials are common household products or can be borrowed from teachers at the school you are attending such as metric rulers, tape, index cards, balance scales, and possibly even sand.  Some materials you may need to find at a local dollar store if you don’t have them at home such as a balloon for the expanding universe lab.  Each lab has a materials list which you will need to get together for each unit.  For a complete list of needed materials please click here.

Specific Technical/Software Requirements in Addition to General Requirements:

Please review the general original credit software requirements at

Course Availability (subject to resource and teacher availability):

This course has limited enrollment availability and is first-come, first-serve. This limit is firm.

Fall: semester available with limited enrollment availability
Spring: semester available with limited enrollment availability
Summer: not available

Lead Teacher:

Jaret Stump, Glacier High School,


Montana Digital Academy
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education
The University of Montana
32 Campus Drive – Room 315
Missoula, Montana 59812
Phone: 406-203-1812
Fax: 406-203-1815

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