Elementary Student Knowledge Gains In The Digital Portable Planetarium

Main Article Content

Laura D. Carsten-Conner
Angela M. Larson
Jennifer Arseneau
Robert R. Herrick

Keywords

celestial motion, immersive environments, planetarium, conceptual knowledge

Abstract

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.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 139 | PDF Downloads 163

Most read articles by the same author(s)