Bringing Digital Starlab to Arizona Teachers

Project: Research project

Project Details


Bringing Digital Starlab to Arizona Teachers Bringing Digital Starlab to Arizona Teachers We propose to bring Digital Starlab to Arizona science teachers and create dynamic, Universe-spanning content including ASU research for planetaria around the world. Since 2008, Arizona has reported teacher shortages in General Science, and Earth and Space Sciences in particular (US Dept of Education, Teacher Shortage Reports). This shortage often leads to underqualified teachers. We are developing a two-pronged effort that includes K-12 teacher professional development and curriculum and virtual classroom visits by SESE students centered around a new Starlab digital portable planetarium. This program aligns with ASUs Eight Design Aspirations (Enable Student Success & Be Socially Embedded) through teacher professional development and an exploration learning course for SESE students. Since 2004, ASU has operated a training and loan program for teachers to use a classic Starlab portable planetarium in their school. This program has been very successful, allowing more than 500 teachers to present Space and Earth Science material to 29,000. Starlab is an excellent resource for schools that may not have access to funds for field trips (such as rural, inner city, or Title I schools), or are prohibited from travel to public venues. Digital StarLab would dramatically improve the content we provide, relieve oversubscription of classic StarLab, and support teachers who are uncomfortable using StarLab or want subject matter experts present. It allows creation of content both current and Arizona-focused. Furthermore, the computer that operates StarLab can be controlled remotely, meaning our students and experts can share or virtually present our content with any digital Starlab, anywhere. We envision initially creating content for respectfully teaching indigenous knowledge ways from around the world, including from tribal communities in the Southwest. We will highlight cutting-edge research from Arizona institutions. This builds on expertise from our Marston Exploration Theater, which has years of experience translating SESE research into content for planetarium software the general public can experience. Outreach Course and Virtual Classroom Visits: In order link K-12 classrooms to current research and higher-level content in Space Sciences, we propose a new Exploration Learning course for SESE undergrad and graduate students. Students will learn outreach methods, develop a module using digital Starlab, and present the module during a school visit. Students will also learn Arizona science standards and proper evaluation methods. Teacher workshops: Teachers will be trained in the use of Digital Starlab in our annual workshops. We anticipate that some teachers will want to borrow classic Starlab for its ease of use, meaning that adding Digital Starlab will substantially increase the number of classrooms we can reach. We will provide additional training including how to operate the software and create new content. This will also expand our existing collaboration with the Rural Activation and Innovation Network to bring Starlab, Earth and Space Science, and research from ASU to rural schools and communities across Arizona.
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/23


  • Women and Philanthropy: $44,452.00


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