The Origin of the Elements and the Many Colored Stars

Recorded On: 04/20/2023

Where did the chemical elements come from? The answer is in the stars. Learn more in this 1-hour workshop for high school teachers.

While people have known about the elements for centuries, knowing where they came from was only discovered within the last hundred years. Except for hydrogen, each of the natural chemical elements can trace its origins to the life and death of a star; the size and mass of this star will determine which elements will be manufactured during its turbulent lifetime. In this workshop, you’ll explore the fundamental organizational scheme for understanding the stars: the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram. The H-R diagram helps classify the stars, demonstrates how stars change properties as they age, and helps us understand the processes leading to the creation of the elements. The H-R diagram and the Periodic Table of the Elements can work hand-in-hand to help learners understand the relationship between the elements in our bodies, our phones, our food, and the distant stars in the night sky.

Register to access the workshop recording and handouts.

Brian Kruse

Director, Teacher Learning Center and Formal Education Programs

Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Brian Kruse manages the ASP's Project ASTRO National Network and Bay Area Project ASTRO, programs which have partnered astronomers with classroom teachers. A veteran classroom teacher, Brian has taught middle school earth science and physical science, and high school physics, earth science, physical science, and integrated science. He has also served as a NASA Explorer Schools Coordinator, where he worked with teams of teachers to foster NASA-inspired whole-school impacts. When not working, Brian is frequently found hiking and birding with camera in hand.

Linda Shore


Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Linda is the CEO of the ASP and has served in that role since 2014. Prior to coming to the ASP, Linda was a Staff Scientist and Director of the Teacher Institute at the Exploratorium. During her 21-year tenure at the Exploratorium, she led the development and implementation of an internationally acclaimed science teacher professional development program, including the nation’s first beginning science teacher program and a teacher leadership program which is now in its 20th year. Linda has co-authored several science activity books for children and written numerous popular science articles. She has also conducted research on student astronomy learning, science teacher induction and retention, and gender equity in science.


Live Workshop Session
04/20/2023 at 4:00 PM (PDT)  |  Recorded On: 04/20/2023  |  58 minutes
04/20/2023 at 4:00 PM (PDT)  |  Recorded On: 04/20/2023  |  58 minutes This workshop took place on April 20, 2023. Click the button to the right to access the recording.