Sunday, July 8, 2012

Astro Education

Its been a while since I've written anything on this blog. The weather lately has been uncooperative, been quite busy reviewing lessons for my classes, and the net connection at home has been down, but still the art of science documentation must prevail! hehe..

This school year we began one of our classes by running around on a pile of sand, attempting to throw balls at a right angle projection, spun around in office chairs, all in an attempt to create simplified means of teaching astronomy concepts to students. This is the field of astronomy education.

A lot of students are interested to learn about astronomy, yet not all teachers know how to teach it. Our class attempts to create simplified experiments on how to show various concepts in astronomy in a means where the students can be taught the basics without having to rely on technical equipment or settling for textbook style lectures. The experiments are creative and can really challenge the learners to think for themselves.

I tried one of these experiments on disproving horoscopes on my Introduction to Astronomy class. We shuffled the previous day's horoscope and let the students choose which matches their experience for that day. A very small percentage of the class were able to match their horoscope which goes to show how unreliable and inaccurate the prediction of horoscopes are.

Also, I showed them the site where I got it online (; June 24 horoscope. Experiment conducted on June 25) and showed a particular line which said "the moon goes into hiding these week,disappearing a little more each night until the new moon in Cancer on Friday" which was very much incorrect since the moon was still in the waxing crescent phase and which means it has just came out of the new moon.

Simple as the experiment maybe, it well proves its point. The development of educational materials in astronomy can really help develop astronomy here in the Philippines, in terms of astronomy education. I'm looking forward to our outputs.

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