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.
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,
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
Why does an apple fall? Introduction to
Einsteinian gravity for high schools.
David Blair1, Tejinder
Kaur1, David Coward1, Mario Zadnik1,Warren
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.