Elementary Student Knowledge Gains In The Digital Portable Planetarium
Immersive environments provide unique and heightened sensory experiences that focus a learner’s attention, and thus may be useful learning platforms. In particular, portable planetariums may be useful in advancing conceptual knowledge about the night sky, because they afford learners with Earth-based views of celestial motions, and give learners a sense of “being there.” We demonstrate here that students make gains in knowledge about both apparent celestial motion and general astronomy concepts after viewing a 25-minute planetarium presentation. However, the planetarium presentation did not appear to increase interest in astronomy and space science. Our results suggest that the portable planetarium may be a useful strategy in supporting learners as they struggle with reconciling observed patterns with underlying, non-observable motions of the Earth, and with visualizing concepts such as the speed of planetary orbits relative to their position with respect to the sun.
Carsten-Conner, L. D., Larson, A. M., Arseneau, J., & Herrick, R. R. (2015). Elementary Student Knowledge Gains In The Digital Portable Planetarium. Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education (JAESE), 2(2), 65–76. https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v2i2.