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Web-Based Astronomy Curriculum Development Project Travis Whyte University of Alberta Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Web-Based Astronomy Curriculum Development Project Travis Whyte University of Alberta Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Web-Based Astronomy Curriculum Development Project Travis Whyte University of Alberta Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta

2 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Web-Based Astronomy Curriculum Development Project

3 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Astronomy Education Problem –Challenging subject for many elementary school teachers… Subject complexity Shortage of quality resources Outcome –Students left with… Misleading information A feeling that astronomy as a science is unimportant A missed opportunity to learn of the wonders of the Universe Spiro graph Nebula Reflection Nebula

4 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Goals of the Project Develop easily accessible (web-based) astronomy curricular resources Target Pan-Canadian curriculum expectations Present astronomy in a highly visible and interactive manner Seamlessly integrate instructional technologies within the content modules Planet Mars Cat’s Eye Nebula

5 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Curriculum Resources Include Pan-Canadian Curriculum Matrix Modular Content Astronomy Glossary Interactive Applets Lesson Plans Extension Activities Evaluation Rubrics

6 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Curriculum Resources Explained Pan-Canadian Curriculum Matrix Detailed matrix displaying how the content, applets and lesson plans relate to the Pan-Canadian Curriculum expectation Modular Content All of the astronomy content covered is divided into 7 content modules Astronomy Glossary An extensive astronomy glossary is accessible via hotlink from all content modules Interactive Applets Mini web-based computer programs act as interactive learning tools to augment content Lesson Plans All content modules include lesson plans designed to assist teachers in reinforcing the content material Extension Activities Included to provide students with experiential or hands-on learning opportunities relevant to astronomy Evaluation Rubrics Accompanying all lessons plans are sample evaluation rubric that may or may not be used to evaluate students

7 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Content Modules 1. Introduction to the Day and Night Sky 2. The Sun and Stars 3. The Earth and the Moon 4. The Planets 5. Comets, Meteors and Asteroids 6. The Milky Way and Beyond 7. Astronomers and Their Tools

8 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education What are Interactive Applets? An applet is an interactive learning tool that acts like a mini-program running within a web browser. Users will interact with the applet through different means, including movie controller buttons and other labeled buttons and input windows. The applets used in this website have been designed as teaching and learning tools to be used by both teachers and students in an attempt to augment the curriculum

9 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Some of the Applets Titles Tracking Sun Spots Phases of the Moon Reasons for the Seasons Solar and Lunar Eclipses Your Weight on Other Planets The Solar System Our Home in the Milky Way

10 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: Tracking Sunspots Using actual solar images students will track and measure sunspot displacements in an attempt to determine solar rotation rates and identifying differential rotation. Students also have the option of determining the size of the sunspot after which a comparison to Earth is made. Show applet

11 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: Phases of the Moon This applet demonstrates the interactions between the Sun, Moon and Earth which help to produce the phases of the Moon. The animation clearly shows the orbital position of the Moon and the corresponding phase as observed from Earth. Show applet

12 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: Reasons for the Seasons This applet demonstrates the interactions between the Sun, Moon and Earth which help to produce the seasonal effects on Earth. The animation clearly shows the orbital position of the Earth and the Earth’s axial tilt which together affect how the Sun’s rays impact the Earth. –Direct rays = summer –Indirect rays = winter Northern Hemisphere Show applet

13 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: Solar and Lunar Eclipses This applet demonstrates the interactions between the Sun, Moon and Earth which help to produce solar and lunar eclipses. Beginning with an analysis of the orientation of the Sun, Moon and Earth, the applet allows users to further investigate the alignments necessary to produce the different kinds of eclipses. Show applet

14 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: Your Weight on Other Planets Students will use this applet to investigate their weight on the different planets. Students begin by exploring the planet’s mass and size after which they can make an educated guess as to their weight on the planets. Students then enter their weight and press the calculate button to display the actual weight on the planets. Show applet

15 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: The Solar System This applet is designed to help students visualize the structure of the solar system while gaining an appreciation for the orbital speeds (ie. The length of a year). Students will learn that the planets closest to the Sun rotate significantly faster than the outer planets. Show applet

16 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Applet: Our Home in the Milky Way This applet is designed to give students an appreciation for the vast size of the Milky Way Galaxy. Beginning with a view of the entire galaxy, the perspective zooms in to a view of the solar system, then to the Earth and Moon and ultimately to a view of only the Earth. An approximate field size is shown Show applet

17 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education About the Lesson Plans The lesson plans included in this website have been designed to be used sequentially or as part of a complete unit. Teachers are encouraged to use as much or as little of the content as they require for their particular classroom needs. Many of the lessons include cross-curricular elements including (Art, Language Arts, and Mathematics) Evaluation rubrics are included with all lessons

18 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Some of the Lesson Plan Titles Building and using a sundial Illustrating the constellations Tracking and tracing sunspots Observing and sketching the lunar surface An explorative journey of the solar system Your weight on other planets Plan a mission to a recently discovered planet Timeline of astronomy events and discoveries

19 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Student Access Site The website has been designed to be accessible by both teachers and students. The student version of the website contains –content material –astronomy glossary –interactive applets & questions The interactive applets are followed by multiple choice javascript questions derived directly from the applet.

20 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Summing it up The elements and format used for organizing the content modules will serve both the teachers and students well. –Teaching the teachers the content –Offer suggestions for presenting and teaching the materials –Provide a wide variety of lesson plans –Offer hands-on and technology-assisted learning experiences –Reinforce the content with appropriate evaluation rubrics and strategies

21 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education What are Teachers Saying? I find the curriculum resources extremely informative and user friendly. The information and applets are wonderful. I will definitely use them when teaching my Grade 6 Sky Science unit. The student section of the Web-Based Astronomy Curriculum is helpful and will be enjoyed by the students. This is an excellent reinforcement tool that makes the students think about what they have learned.

22 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education The Next Step Currently the content materials are limited to the sixth grade curriculum. Follow up projects are currently being developed for both the ninth and twelfth grade curricula. French language translations are also in the development stages for the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grade.

23 Load Website Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Where is the Website? The website is temporarily being hosted by the University of Alberta –http://www.ioncmaste.ca The webiste will soon be moved onto the Canadian Space Agency’s website –http:www.space.gc.ca


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