Astronomy Education in the Pensacola Area 

Resources for School Educators

There are several courses offered in the Pensacola area for those interested in studying astronomy, and resource packets for area elementary teachers who are seeking resources for the astronomy section of their science curriculum.
These courses range from beginning astronomy for the general public to courses designed to meet various required curriculum criteria for state colleges and universities.

Pensacola State College (formerly Pensacola Junior College), offers a distance learning course in Descriptive Astronomy, course code AST 1002.
PSC, besides offering courses for local students, also offers a distance learning course for those who live outside of the Pensacola area, including military stationed outside of the United States.
For a preview of listed Pensacola State College courses, go to and eLearning courses right under the Login area.  All courses offered for the semester will be listed as either Distance Learning or Hybrid (part in-class and part online). 

The University of West Florida offers an in-class overview astronomy course, Modern Astronomy, course code AST 3033.
For a list of University of West Florida courses, visit for curriculum information.

For Resources for Elementary Educators, access:

Resource Directory for Elementary Educators 

If you would like a teacher's packet of astronomical information and activities that may be done in the classroom, you may send a request to:

Dr. Wayne Wooten

c/o Physical Sciences Department

Pensacola State College

1000 College Blvd, Building 21

Pensacola, Florida 32504

or, you may use the e-mail or voice mail listings on the Education Home Page to request a packet.

If you send a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, please send a large 9" x 12" mailing envelope.

Star Charts are often available at Ft. Pickens stargazes during the summer months.

Links from the following table offer course information on the various astronomy courses offered by both Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida.  Teacher Training Sessions, however, are not listed here.


Descriptive Astronomy AST 1005


Registration information for Pensacola State College Courses may be found at:

Traditional Lecture Course Description:

AST 1005 is the code for: Descriptive Astronomy, (3-hours, 3 Course Credits)

This course is a study of the celestial sphere, constellations, time, telescopes, the properties of light, the solar system, and an introduction to stars and galaxies. A working knowledge of arithmetic and simple (High School level) algebra is required. This course meets Associate of Arts General Education Category VII.


 Distance Learning Descriptive Astronomy AST 1005

If you are interested in taking an astronomy course for fun or for credit, you may be interested in taking the basic Astronomy course taught by Dr. John Wayne Wooten. Besides the classroom course, the Astronomy Lab Course is offered for Distance Learning. These courses are also available for those who are out-of-area residents. Information on registering for them is available at the following site:

or, phone PJC Distance Learning Center at 1-850-484-1238.

These courses fulfill one of the two required science credits for the general AA Degree in the Junior College program. The coursework for both of these courses (3 hour credits) is also transferable to upper level institutions. If, because of work or family duties, you don't have the time to physically attend classes, independent study courses are invaluable boons to education.

The astronomy correspondence course is also of benefit to anyone interested in amateur astronomy as a hobby, in that it gives you a general education in astronomical science as well as observational tips. A hobby built upon a general knowledge of the hobby subject is so much more rewarding than sporadic efforts to participate in areas that are unfamiliar.

Lab Course Description:

AST 1005L  is a one-hour lab, optional to accompany AST 1005 or AST 1005T.  It is offered over the Internet, and meets PJC's general lab science requirement.  A preliminary orientation session is offered during the first week of class at the Pensacola Junior College Main Campus.  

For more information, go to: to Index

University of West Florida Astronomy Course

Admissions/Registration information may be found at:

Modern Astronomy AST 3033

This course meets the general science requirement for non-science majors. It is a popular elective featuring night observation on the roof of Building 13 at UWF using many telescopes. The course covers the history of astronomy, tools of the astronomer, the solar system, the sun and other stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and theories in modern cosmology. Introductory level algebra is sufficient for all math used in the course.

Students learn telescope construction and astrophotography techniques. Constellation identification and major navigational star identification is another course practical. Modern astronomy stresses new developments and controversial ideas in current astronomical research. Much use is made of Internet resources in astronomy. The course includes optional readings on current topics in astronomy, as well as astronomical software exercises for extra credit.

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