An online workshop for South Dakota Middle and High School Teachers

Computational Astronomy 3

Inspire your students to learn more about mathematics and science!

Fall 2020

GES 692: Computational Astronomy-3 class for middle/high school Math and Science Teachers

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this workshop is changed into an online professional development class worth 1 graduate credit. The workshop will be offered via Zoom on six Saturday mornings (9 am – 12 pm Mountain Time) starting on September 5, 2020. The lectures are on every other Saturday, with last class time on November 14, 2020.  In person attendance available for local teachers who wish to participate face-to-face on South Dakota Mines and Augustana University campuses. All lectures will be recorded and made available to participants.

During the workshop, the math and science teacher participants will learn about math applications used in astronomy and space exploration, with the goal of being able to use that knowledge in their own classroom. Through carefully selected materials, the workshop will emphasize the connections between mathematics and space science. Lesson plans will be developed in math, physical science, and biology.


  • Earn one graduate credit.
  • Maximum of 10 participants for the workshop.
  • The tuition for the workshop is fully paid by our grant.
  • Tentative Schedule can be seen here!
  • Each teacher-participant will receive a $100 stipend at the end of the workshop for contributing to the development of lesson plans based on the topics discussed during lectures.
  • Some teacher participants will be recruited to pilot a lesson plan from the workshop in their own classroom during fall 2020 and spring 2021. These teachers will receive additional $100 stipend for providing feedback to the project-team. 

    Topics include:

    Kepler’s Laws; Eccentricity of a comet’s orbit; Stars and cosmic distances; Modeling exoplanets; Evidence of dark matter; To bee or not to bee: Life on Mars; Launch window for SpaceX; Modeling applications in Desmos.

    Course Prerequisites: Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program and K-12 teaching experience in Math and Science. Basic College algebra, trigonometry, and familiarity with spreadsheets such as Windows Excel.

    Acknowledgement: NASA – South Dakota Space Grant Consortium provided funding for this project.

    for Fall 2020!

    This workshop is offered by South Dakota Mines in collaboration with Augustana University.

    For more information

    Dr. Donna Kliche
    (605) 394-2471

    Stay Tuned - There's More to Come This Fall

    Educating the next generation of engineers and scientists begins with inspiring an early interest in math and science. South Dakota Mines plans additional programming to help engage students in STEM activities. More information will be available as dates, times and programming is arranged.

    Resources For Educators


    Email newsletter for area math and science teachers.

    Activities for Students


    Weeklong science and engineering summer camps for high school students.


    Annual Science & Engineering Fair for regional students, 6th-12th grade, held at SD Mines.


    Regional mathematics contest for middle and high-school students, held at SD Mines.


    Activities for area students of various levels, held each year at SD Mines.

    GO TO MINES Open House

    An opportunity for local high-school students to learn more about attending SD Mines