AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 87 Use of Modern Technology in Introductory Astronomy Education
Oral, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Pacific Salon 1

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[87.01] Astrophysics for Early Elementary Students and Teachers

R. Kang (Pine Mountain Observatory Electronic Universe)

How can very young students be taught astrophysics? What can we offer to teachers of K-4 students?

Whether you deal directly with youngsters in classrooms, work with your School of Education to develop science inquiry training, or offer occasional general outreach, we discuss activities your program can adopt from the University of Oregonís Electronic Universe outreach program. This collaboration through NASAís Oregon Space Grant plus citizen amateur astronomers has been successfully delivering astrophysics to students in all grades throughout Oregon for over a decade.

Students in grades K-4 are generally very enthusiastic learners who have a lot of interest in content and technology about space. Unfortunately typical curricula, state learning requirements, and typical training of their teachers is usually very simplistic and often contains erroneous and outdated materials.

Weíll work through a series of explorations designed for elementary level that use digital data and virtual reality simulations in conjunction with kinesthetic activities to connect observations such as brightness, shadows, motions, shapes, and colors to basic physical characteristics and properties.

This is the starting place where we can grab already curious students and inspire teachers, particularly new teachers, to use space science content to develop science inquiry based curricula.

Young students and their teachers can handle astrophysics if the topics are presented in familiar terms and with use of sufficient first hand modeling. Donít be afraid to start them early on these topics, this could dispel myths, generate future interest, and promote careers in science.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/~pmo/. 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: rkang@efn.org

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.