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Paper: Visualizing Moon Phases with WorldWide Telescope
Volume: 483, Ensuring STEM Literacy: A National Conference on STEM Education and Public Outreach
Page: 297
Authors: Udomprasert, P.; Goodman, A.; Sunbury, S.; Zhang, Z. H.; Sadler, P.; Dussault, M.; Block, S.; Lotridge, E.; Jackson, J.; Constantin, A.
Abstract: We report preliminary results from an NSF-funded project to build, test, and research the impact of a WorldWide Telescope Visualization Lab (WWT Vizlab), meant to offer learners a deeper physical understanding of the causes of the Moon's phases. The Moon Phases VizLab is designed to promote accurate visualization of the complex, three dimensional Earth–Sun–Moon relationships required to understand the Moon's phases, while also providing opportunities for middle school students to practice critical science skills, like using models, making predictions and observations, and linking them in evidence-based explanations. In the VizLab, students use both computer-based models and lamp + ball physical models. We present findings from the first two phases of the study—one in which we compared learning gains from the WWT VizLab with a traditional two dimensional Moon phases simulator, and another in which we experimented with different ways of blending physical and virtual models in the classroom.
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