We started today with a brief, 10 minute lecture on stars, using the PowerPoint below. We reviewed how the clumping of matter in space can form asteroids, planets, and if the clumps get big enough… stars! If these piles get really large, the gravity, heat, and pressure is so immense that the atoms can slam into each other with incredible force. If that happens, fusion can begin; hydrogen atoms slam into each other and fuse to become helium. And in doing so they release a ton of energy. That fusion-energy is what powers stars. Our discussion then turned to the life cycle of a star. Can atoms fuse indefinitely? Wouldn’t they eventually end up with really large atoms like iron? What happens then?
After that discussion of a star’s life cycle, students made foldables (pictured above). Once they were cut out, illustrated, and filled with notes, these became a great study guide. They walk you through the life cycle of both small and large stars, from their beginning as a stellar cloud to their most fascinating endings.