The original TERC-developed HOU high school materials include seven student workbooks and a Teachers’ Guide, used in tandem with the custom made HOU Image Processing Software. HOU curriculum materials were used in hundreds of high school classrooms in the U.S.A. since 1994 proving effective with a wide range of students. The open-ended explorations made learning fun for the less interested student, as well as appealing to the high achiever.
The original HOU TERC modules:
|Introduction to Image Processing|| Explains how to use the HOU Image Processing Software toolbars. Students learn how a CCD detector digitizes celestial images and adjust their own images to bring out unseen features.
|Finding Features||Enjoy a Browser’s Guide to the Universe. Play with images of lunar features and a solar eclipse. Travel through an atlas of galaxies displaying amazingly different structures.|
|Measuring Size *||Use the pixel plate scale to measure a lunar cratar. Track Jupiter’s moons from night to night; calculate the moons’ mass from the mass of Jupiter and the moons’ orbital radii.|
|Measuring Color *||Learn about the colors of stars, the HR diagram, and how stars evolve according to their mass. See how astronomers use color filters to reveal features of stars, and use the image processing software to see those features. See how colors of stars reveal their life history.|
|Measuring Distance *||Learn how the cosmological distance ladder is used to determine the distance to far away objects. Practice using spherical geometry. Determine the luminosity of distant objects using their apparent brightness. See how Cepheid Variable stars are used to measure their distance.|
|Measuring Brightness *||Learn about photometry — measurement of light from a celestial object. Calculate stellar magnitudes using logarithms. Follow in the footsteps of Pennsyvania high school students who used the HOU software to discover a supernova.|
|Searching for Supernovae||See how astronomers find supernovae — exploding stars. Learn to manipulate pairs of digital sky images to reveal changes from night to night. This unit helps equip students to join genuine research projects, whether through HOU or in future college work.|
|Teachers’ Reference Guide||This manual provides a description of how teachers can use the tools of modern astronomy in the classroom. Teacher notes are provided for each of the seven modules in the HOU curriculum, with guidelines for student outcomes. Answer sheets for module exercises are also included.|
* The four “Measuring” modules support national standards for high school science and mathematics as outlined in the AAAS Benchmarks and the National Research Council National Science Education Standards. HOU topics were correlated with TIMSS coding system [link??] as part of a NSF Teacher Enhancement grant project (2000-2004).
In 2009, USA-HOU TRAs determined the “Best” of the 7 original HOU books described above, and that became A Changing Cosmos cast in the format of Global System Science (http://www.globalsystemsscience.org/studentbooks/acc). GSS is a series of books that can form the basis of a high school integrated science course, Earth science course, or be used as supplemental materials for physics, biology and chemistry courses.