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Social Studies

Explore! the History and Science of Astrolabes, Compasses, and Navigation

Completed by 6 learners
Ever wonder how early explorers discovered new lands and were able to return home? This one day class reviews the history and science of early navigation using astrolabes and compasses.
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(412)
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
learners per class


Charged upfront
Meets once
55 minute class

Class Experience

US Grade 3 - 6
Sequence the history of the astrolabe and compass
Recall the purpose of the astrolabe and compass
Explain how the astrolabe and compass work using science principles
Explain why these early navigation tools are still in use today by modern armies and navies. 
Students may want to make their own compass to use at home and practice using one in their own backyards or trails. 
For making a compass at home see the included file posted on the day of class: cork, needle, magnet (fridge magnet works fine), pliers.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
  • Nearpod
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
Building a homemade compass involves the use of a pin or needle. Parent supervision is warranted depending on the age of the child. No child should be left to explore on their own in the woods or water. 
Smithsonian Magazine: Story of the Astrolabe
How Stuff Works
National Park Service

Meet the teacher

Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(412)
I believe that students need to see the personal side of the world. When students begin to see a unique story in a history or science lesson, they become engaged and learn. 

   Learners need to see the relevance of what they learn. Then, they... 
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