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Paper: Science Journalism: Using Science Literacy to Teach Fundamental Science
Volume: 431, Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future
Page: 257
Authors: Mattson, B. J.; Lochner, J. C.
Abstract: Science has many stories to tell. A carefully crafted series of stories can create a rich experience based in science literacy to teach fundamental science concepts. In particular, framing the stories as historic news articles illustrates the process of science and opens up opportunities for multidisciplinary lessons. NASA’s Cosmic Times materials illustrate how we applied this model to tell the story of our understanding of the expanding universe over the past century.

Cosmic Times is a series of curriculum support materials and classroom activities for grades 7–12. The series includes six posters, each resembling the front page of a newspaper from a particular time during the past 100 years with articles describing the discoveries. The articles trace astronomer’s efforts to determine the size of the universe, the nature of supernovae, and the nature of the expansion of the universe. Each poster is accompanied by inquiry-based lessons that teach the science, the process of science, and skills for science literacy. In addition, these lessons include cross-curricular activities exploring the times and social circumstances of the discoveries.

These materials serve as a springboard for a discussion on using science literacy and storytelling with other science topics, ranging from our modern understanding of the planets and planet formation to the development of the theory of evolution.
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