Technological Innovations and Publications Related to Space Science Education
As NASA Administrator Dan Goldin has noted, children are especially interested in three things: ghosts, dinosaurs, and space. We need to capitalize on the interest in space to develop and encourage a continuing understanding and curiosity about space-related issues from the grade school
level through adulthood. Unfortunately, because astronomy is usually only offered in college as an introductory-level elective or as a specialized area of graduate study, most pre-college educators are uncomfortable teaching space sciences in the classroom. Additionally, the particularly dynamic nature of the field leaves educators with materials that are out-of-date and inadequate. In the framework of the new educational pedagogy focusing on hands-on activities, this paper presents a discussion of technologically innovative resources for the space science classroom (primarily at the high school level) which utilize hands-on activities for the students. The discussion will focus in five areas: major high-tech programs (which require specialized equipment in the schools), national and local workshops available to educators, hands-on activities commercially available, educational astronomical resources, and examples of hands-on activities developed and expanded upon by teachers
and astronomers attending an educational workshop in Hawai‘i from 1993-1995.