EDUCATION Engaging students, teachers & the general public through interactive astronomy apps & games. SUPER PLANET CRASH An experiment in creating a minimum- viable-game. Orbits Systemic SimTelescope 6
SJSU, Delaware, Yale, Columbia, UCSC, and others, reaching ∼500 students to date, and was part of a homework on the MOOC “The Science of the Solar System” , taken by ∼13,000 Coursera students. However, it can’t be the end-all of a good education & outreach platform: it is still too complicated to use, and not immediate enough!
bias Closer to the controls on the left- hand side of the window; People pay more attention to upper ﬁeld of vision “Crosshair” bias Related to “oblique eﬀect”? Empirical preference for cardinal directions Orbital spin
pilot projects. We’re funded for 2014-2015. I’m funded to do full-time development! Goal Develop customizable educational apps with deep game elements, with a high degree of scientiﬁc accuracy and ties to real astronomical data. Stefano Meschiari (UT Austin) Randi Ludwig (UT, UTeach) Joel Green (StScI) The SAVE-Point collaboration:
will provide students at all levels with a “virtual astronomy lab” , running in their browser. No installation hassle, can run on mobile platforms, easily accessible anywhere. • Prioritize accurate physics, real astronomical datasets, game-level fun and engaging design. • Easy scoring/grading systems for instructors. • Complete customizability by instructors. OR Touch Gesture Reference Guide Press Double tap Tap Press and drag Drag Press and tap, then drag 1 2 Press and tap Multi-finger tap 1 2 Orbits Systemic Classroom scores
(Hake 1998, Prather et al. 2004) • Watching entertaining lectures is not enough (Duncan, 1999) • Lecture demos are not enough, as students often remember them wrong (Miller, Lasry, Chu, & Mazur, 2013) • People learn best by being exposed to material in multiple ways. E.g. in-class instruction + discussion + interactive games (Kress, Jewitt, Ogborn, & Charalampos, 2006; Tulving, 1985; Vekiri, 2002) ...But research supports interactive learning & “gamiﬁcation”
educational goal. These will be quick to develop & easily customizable by an instructor. APPLETS Examples: • Gravity simulator (orbits) • Habitability • Super Planet Crash • Exposure time simulator ... Activities where students and citizen scientists can interact with real astronomical data. Start out simple, become open- ended. SYSTEMIC/DATA ANALYSIS Examples: • Systemic “On Rails” , using radial velocity and photometric data. instructor. SIM-TELESCOPE Simulate the planning and running of a survey, e.g. to discover exoplanets. Take care of: • Budget • Time constraints • Data analysis • ...
be ideal for small astronomy demos and exhibits. Our group just got a small department grant to outﬁt several ﬂoors of our buildings with wall-mounted iPads running educational apps. A lot of kids don’t know how to use a trackpad or a mouse!
• Populate a ﬁeld of stars (e.g. the Kepler ﬁeld) with a known, synthetic exoplanet population. • Select a portion of the ﬁeld and start the challenge. • Design a survey: telescope, methods, schedule, budget, operating costs. • Each discovery nets points and money. Money& Time& O+o&Struve&2.1m& Harlan&J.&Smith&2.7m& Hobby&Eberly&9.2m& Planets&Found:&&27& Points:&&12,180&
of educational apps with a focus on Astronomy, funded under the LIFT program. • We expect to have usable activities in time for Spring 2015. These activities will run on the web, on any modern computer or mobile device. • Post-Spring 2015, we will be able to assess the impact and reach of our initiative. • Applications are being developed under an open-source license and hosted on GitHub (pending UT approval). • We are interested in (a) implementing new or expanded modules from our basic set and (b) inviting others to produce related material and connect with us.
development and expansion; • Apply for grants! Timeline Fall 2014 • Development & implementation; • Curriculum development; • Initial in-classroom testing. Spring 2015 • Further development of more complex apps; • Classroom implementation. (funding started this month)