Today with my 8th graders we did Robert’s “How Many Stars Are There in the Universe?” lesson. My students really enjoyed it. I began class with them estimating how many stars are in the universe, and it led to a great discussion about huge numbers. When I showed them the video with the numbers blacked out and the answer bleeped out, they started cracking up laughing. There’s just long enough before the bleep to hear a slight “f” sound, which of course when it’s followed by a bleep, a room full of middle school students immediately think only one thing. It was pretty funny. After we did the stars calculation I asked them the follow up question about grains of sand and they all picked which one they thought there was more of. Most picked grains of sand and were shocked when it turned out there are about 10 times as many stars. All-in-all it was a great lesson and the students really seemed to enjoy the discussions.