Integrating Planetarium and Classroom Instruction to Engage Children in the Practices of Science

Plummer, Julia D. and Small, Kim J. (2014) Integrating Planetarium and Classroom Instruction to Engage Children in the Practices of Science. In: Ensuring STEM Literacy: a National Conference on STEM Education and Public Outreach. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, pp. 407-410.


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Children should be learning how to engage in science practices in ways that reflect the domain-specific nature of learning to “do science.” Our work explores methods for engaging children in science practices in astronomy, such as developing representations and models, using evidence, and organizing observations into patterns. We used research literature on learning in formal and informal environments to develop learning environment design principles that integrate classroom and planetarium instruction. These were used to develop an intervention for first-grade students. Children first participated in an anticipatory lesson in their classroom. They next visited the planetarium, where they were engaged in a modular planetarium design program that mixed live interaction with video sequences. Finally, children applied what they learned as they engaged in activities in their classroom. Initial analysis of interviews conducted with children before and after instruction suggest the intervention was successful in improving students’ reasoning about the Moon and illustrates successful methods of integrating a field trip with a classroom-based lesson.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2017 06:52
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:26

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