Stellar SatNav (Bearings) – TES Resource of the Week 115

The following resource has been kindly shared on the TES Maths website. It is available to download for free by registering. And to access all the lovely Resource of the Week (ROTW) resources, just click here

What is it?
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the fact that students hate bearings. Fortunately, this lovely resource might just help tackle the latter. It is a very simply premise – students use their knowledge of bearings and scale to map out constellations. But there is something about its simplicity that has made the two classes I have tried this activity out on response very positively, and develop an almost love… no, that is going too far… let’s say a tolerance to bearings. 

How can it be used?
The task pretty much runs itself. I tried this with a Year 9 and a Year 11 class, and in both instances I got the students started by plotting the first two stars together. But then they were on their way. There is a nice cross-curricular element too, with the real-life constellations involved, and for the brave there is the opportunity to get the students creating their own patterns, or even linking in to topics such as standard form and ratio with the distances involved. But simply in terms of helping students get comfortable with measuring and drawing bearings, this is one of the best resources I have seen.

Thanks for sharing!
Craig Barton

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