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Sky Exploration: Discovering Natural and Dramatic Features and Phenomena

Sky Exploration: Discovering Natural and Dramatic Features and Phenomena
This is the image for the news article titled Sky Exploration: Discovering Natural and Dramatic Features and Phenomena

The room is dark, the light bulb in the middle of the room is shining brightly, Vassal Lane 8th graders are holding white spheres in their hands modeling moon phases and excitedly exclaiming “watch this, can you see it, can you see how it changes?”

Iona Brightman’s 8th graders are participating in a Moon phase visualization lab and accessing an amazing tool that offers immersive views of the sky and explanations of celestial objects and phenomena, funded by NSF program on Transforming Education through Cyberlearning with a team of Harvard University educators and astronomers (Worldwide Telescope Ambassadors) in collaboration with Microsoft Research.

Dr. Pat Udomprasert and her team from Harvard, have spent a few days with each class administering a pretest to find out what 8th graders know and understand about moon phases and eclipses, facilitating the kinesthetic moon phase Vizlab, and guiding students as they access the world wide telescope images and multimedia experiences to increase their understanding of how our solar system works. Students ask questions and practice skills that astronomers and scientists use everyday in their work.

Click here to view these amazing celestial objects for yourself.