AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 44 Astronomy Education with Radio Waves and Music
Oral, Monday, 10:00-11:30am, January 9, 2006, Balcony B

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[44.02] The Radio Sky StarLab Program Multimedia Interface

S. Buck, C. Fultz, T. Smith, R. Harris, M. LaFratta, L. Walsh (UNC-Asheville), D. Boltuch, L. Hund, D. Moffett (Furman University), M. W. Castelaz (PARI)

During development of the "Sensing the Radio Sky" program, it was evident to our team of Multimedia and Physics students that visualization is a beneficial way to aid in the learning of any scientific subject. When presenting a more abstract topic such as radio astronomy, this visualization becomes even more necessary. To aid in presenting the information of the Radio Sky lesson plans and activities, we developed a manual which comes complete with a multimedia interface. The interface is intended to present the lesson plans in an organized and interesting fashion with supplemental aids. To emphasize the subject matter, images and diagrams are incorporated with the text to reiterate the material in a visual manner. Activities and quizzes are also used to appeal to the students preparing to enter the StarLab. In its current version, the Radio Sky multimedia interface is created in Macromedia Flash. This format allows the program to be browser and platform independent. Furthermore, it is a self contained file, and when packaged with the manual will be formatted as a Windows executable file (.exe) and a Macintosh executable file (.hqx). As a result of this packaging, the program will not need any additional software or drivers to run. We believe that the multimedia interface will provide both the teachers and students with a valuable resource to familiarize themselves with radio astronomy. We acknowledge support from the NSF Internship in Public Science Education Program grant number 0324729.

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