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Paper: Promoting Student Inquiry Using WorldWide Telescope
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 431
Authors: Lee, A. T.; Jerome, J. M. E.
Abstract: Introductory astronomy courses continue to remain popular at the university level, particularly with students satisfying broader education requirements. As many students' terminal science course, these classes may be the last formal opportunity to develop an appreciation for the scientific process. Increasing appreciation and overall scientific literacy requires that students are capable of seeing themselves “doing” science and not viewing the subject as understandable only by a privileged few. Achieving these goals has become ever-more challenging since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought to light that accessible and engaging laboratory activities utilizing real astronomical data are wanting. We describe two lab activities that we have developed using the freely-available WorldWide Telescope software. Students use WorldWide Telescope to perform real scientific experiments by asking questions, collecting data, and reaching evidence-based conclusions on topics related to the phases of the Moon and the retrograde motion of Mars. Students are ultimately responsible for conducting their own investigations and leave with higher confidence in their own ability to understand science-related topics.
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