Measuring the Impact of Specialist Science Enrichment Programs at the Gravity Discovery Centre

David Blair1, Grady Venville1, David Coward1,Nancy Longneker1, Mario Zadnik2,Fred Deshon3, Richard Meagher3, Geoff Cody3, John Delaeter3,Neil Jarvis4,Martin Hendry5.
1University of Western Australia, 2Curtin University of Technology, 3Gravity Discovery Centre Foundation, 4Polly Farmer Foundation, 5Glasgow University .

This paper describes a new research project to evaluate the benefits of science enrichment programs in changing student attitudes to science. The study is focussed on a new innovative science education centre – The Gravity Discovery Centre – where three different approaches to science enrichment will be evaluated. After reviewing the current worldwide problems in science education, we describe the rationale and the planned methodology in the context of three very different approaches which have been designed for students with different needs: a) narrative based learning, b) learning through real astronomical research, and c) more conventional learning based on specialised learning modules.

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Authentic Astronomy Research and Practical Astrobiology: Does it make a difference to students’ learning and motivation and teachers’ confidence and classroom practice?

Mark Gargano1, Marjan Zadnik1
1Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, Western Australia,

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Earth and Space Sciences Professional Development: Does it make a real difference to the classroom experiences of you and your students?
Mark Gargano 1,4, Marjan Zadnik 1,4, David Blair 2, Fred Deshon 3, Mzamose Gondwe 2, Auriol Heary 2, Nancy Longnecker 2, Marina Pitts 2, Grady Venville 2, Brad Whitaker 3
1Curtin University, Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Western Australia. 2University of Western Australia 3Gravity Discovery Centre, Gingin, Western Australia 4Mars Society Australia

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Why does an apple fall? Introduction to Einsteinian gravity for high schools.

David Blair1, Tejinder Kaur1, David Coward1, Mario Zadnik1,Warren Stannard1.
1University of Western Australia.

The falling apple epitomises Newtons gravity: a force exerted by planet Earth. Although this concept of gravity was overthrown by Einsteins theory of General Relativity, it is rarely taught in high school. Here we present an approach to Einsteinian gravity: the force required to prevent free fall. Our approach, based on spacetime diagrams, warped time and the principle of maximal aging, has been tested successfully with students ranging from 11-17 years of age.

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Building bridges: connecting science and culture through cross-cultural (digital) storytelling

Muza Gondwe1: Given at the GDC Professional learning day on the 15th April 2011.
1University of Western Australia.

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Gravity Discovery Centre

Ju Li1: The 9th Edoardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitational Waves, Cardiff University, UK, July 2011.
1University of Western Australia.

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Authentic astronomy for your students: Real Projects, Real Science.

Mark Gargano1: CONSTAWA 2011, The Esplanade Hotel & The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia, May 2011.
1Department of Imaging and Applied Physics Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia .

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NASA Spaceward Bound Australia: Pilbara to Projects for science classrooms.

Mark Gargano 1 2 3, Janine Slocombe2 3 4, Kenneth Silburn2 3 5, Monika Bell 2 3 6, Lucinda Land3 7 8
1Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 2Mars Society Australia 32011 Spaceward Bound Pilbara expedition member 4Northern Advanced Manufacturing Industry Group (Australia) 5Casula High School, New South Wales 6BHP Billiton-WA 7NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, US 8Mars Society California .

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This page contains a set of inexpensive resources to aid the teaching of Einsteinian physics. First we describe the need for special equipment for visualizing the concepts of Einsteinian physics. Then, we provide brief descriptions of each teaching aid. The talk will include video clips to illustrate all of the teaching aids discussed here.

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