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Paper: Using the Hula Hoop as an NGSS Accessible Educational Tool
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 268
Authors: Grice, N.
Abstract: According to, the Hula Hoop—a hip-swiveling toy—was first marketed in 1958. Since then, hundreds of millions of Hula Hoops have been sold. You might not associate Hula Hoops with an astronomy class, but maybe you should! In addition to being a fun toy, the Hula Hoop can also be a useful, repurposed educational tool for active hands-on learning. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-8 include specific themes of Earth and Space Science concerning patterns and cycles of the sun and moon and the scale properties of the solar system. In the elementary school standard on patterns and cycles it is stated “patterns of the motions of the sun, moon and stars in the sky can be observed, described and predicted.” The middle school standard then adds the phrase “and (can be) explained with models.” This paper presents strategies for using the Hula Hoop as an immersive, accessible and educational tool and model. These strategies can help students with different learning styles, including those with visual impairment, better understand the seasons, eclipses and the scale of the solar system.
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