AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 95 Technology in Astronomy Education
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[95.02] Education and Outreach with the National Virtual Observatory

M. J. Raddick (Johns Hopkins University)

The National Virtual Observatory (NVO) is developing tools to enable astronomy data to be shared seamlessly across the Internet. The goal of the NVO is to allow anyone on the Internet to access all astronomy data ever measured, with any instrument, in any wavelength.

The easy access to vast amounts of data offered by the NVO will revolutionize the way astronomers do their work – often, astronomers will use NVO-enabled tools to download data rather than wait for time on a research telescope. But the potential for easy access to all astronomy data promises to likewise revolutionize astronomy education. With the proper tools and lesson plans, students and teachers can access exactly the same data that professional astronomers use in their research.

I will demonstrate a lesson plan that we have developed that makes use of the NVO’s Datascope, a simple tool for accessing various data on a single object or sky position. The lesson plan, “Adopt a Galaxy,” was created from a middle school teacher’s suggestion; it is appropriate for students from middle school to Astro 101. The project asks a team of 2 to 4 students to “adopt” a sky object, learn as much as they can about it, and give a presentation to the rest of the class about their object. The lesson plan includes pages for both students and teachers, with links to other background resources on the Internet. In addition to explaining this project in detail, I will briefly discuss some other efforts to use the NVO for astronomy education.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: raddick@pha.jhu.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.