AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 106. Education
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[106.07] ``IT'S ALL IN MOTION" -- A Hands-On Astronomy Workshop For Teachers of Grades 4-8

M.L. West (Montclair State U.), C. Liu (Columbia U./AMNH), K. Conod (Dreyfuss Planetarium, Newark, NJ)

We describe the implementation and results of a four day hands-on astronomy workshop for in-service teachers of grades 4-8. This project, funded by a 1998-1999 IDEAS grant through the Space Telescope Science Institute, included 20 teacher participants from northern New Jersey. We used the workshop's unifying theme -- ``It's All in Motion!" -- to present to the teachers fundamental astrophysical concepts, relevant math and computer skills, and astronomy activities for their classrooms.

We learned that there is a great need for this type of training, especially in New Jersey where there are new core curriculum standards and a newly mandated test in science for students in 4th and 8th grades. While the teachers learned content at different rates, the hands-on format gave them confidence to try some of these activities in their classes, especially among under-represented minorities.

The most effective activities included human sundials, Sunspotters to measure the rotation of the Earth in 2 minutes, craters in the sand, group mini-reports from posters, speed calculations, physics and astronomy songs, the Ophiuchus Sculpture, a planetarium visit (especially needed in our urban area where the light pollution is severe), and Internet guided sites (See http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~west/ideasresources.html).

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~west/ideasresources.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: west@pegasus.montclair.edu

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