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Education Resources

Workshops & Hands-On

Resource Materials

Space Missions

National Education Websites

Astronomy Content Info

Astronomy Software

Books & Magazines

Curricula

Equipment & Supplies

Hawaii Resources

Hands-On Activities

Sources of Funding

Jobs

Careers

Standards

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As NASA Administrator Dan Goldin has noted, young students are especially interested in three things: ghosts, dinosaurs, and space. Astronomy is a unique field in that it evokes a fundamental interest in exploration and the search for our origins which has long been rooted in humankinds curiosity - perhaps more so than in any other field. This public appeal, combined with the general interdisciplinary nature of the field gives it a high potential as an educational avenue for increasing scientific awareness. We need to capitalize on the interest in space to develop and encourage a continuing understanding and curiosity about space-related issues.

Astronomy and space science education in the United States falls primarily in the middle school level, appearing generally as a unit in the Earth Sciences classes. For younger age groups, while there may be some introduction to the members of the solar system, the cognitive development of elementary school children is not sufficiently advanced to understand the spatial concepts inherent with the 3-D nature of the field. Unlike other areas of science which get recycled again in the high school years, unless there is a special interest on the part of the teacher, astronomy and space science often do not re-appear in high school and most students get their first real taste of astronomy in college. Unfortunately, because astronomy is usually only offered in college as a lower division elective or as a specialized area of graduate study, most pre-college educators are uncomfortable teaching space sciences in the classroom. Additionally, the particularly dynamic nature of the field leaves educators with materials that are out of date and inadequate.

Workshops & Hands-on Activities National programs which involve astronomy education for teachers or training in use of exemplary hands on activities.
Resource Materials Education resource materials available on the web, from the NASA Data centers, observatories, and space societies.
Space Missions Links to the current and recent space missions
National Education Websites This includes links to NASA, JPL, Space Telescope National Observatory, University & private institution astronomy education programs.
Astronomy Content Info Topical Content information links which discuss current astronomy topics particularly well
Astronomy Software Sources of astronomy software for Macs and PCs - both commercial software and shareware.
Books & Magazines Links to online books and Magazines with Astronomy content
Curricula Websites for exemplary astronomy curricula, including major NSF sponsored programs.
Equipment & Supplies Sources of equipment and supplies for doing hands-on astronomy activities
Hawaii Resources Local Resources for the teachers in Hawaii
Hands-on Activities Activities you can download for use in the classroom: including the Astrolabe Activity
Sources of Funding Funding sources
Summer Astronomy student jobs Availability of summer astronomy positions for students from advanced high school through undergraduate levels.
Astronomy Careers Collection of websites discussing careers in astronomy, pointers on how to choose and get into a good grad school, and lists of frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Standards State and National Standards - and a description of how TOPS activities address these standards.

The resource materials presented on this web page were collected and developed as a result of an astronomical educational workshop for top high-school teacher-student pairs held in Hawaii from 1993-1995, and the expanded version of this program being held from 1999-2004.


Visits since 10/99. Last Updated on December 15, 2001
Karen. Meech, Institute for Astronomy, UH
meech@ifa.hawaii.edu