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Abstract Title: Two years of testing long-term observation in middle school astronomy
Abstract: AAAS [1] has noted that "[m]iddle-school students may think experiments are a way to produce a desired outcome, rather than a way of testing ideas." This predisposition is excruciatingly difficult to counter in both students and teachers. Our intent in an astronomy experiment was to address this problem directly by making and recording regular observations of Sun shadows that would occur over the school year and from which students would find and be able to articulate the annual pattern of the change of Sun's position. Students engaged in long term observations of natural phenomena from which they could build understanding.  We present the results of two yearlong investigations and speculate on whether this could be a useful way to address students' general misconception of science as a series of 45-minute experiments. Measuring the change in students' conceptions is an area for future research.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Bill Schmitt
The Science Center of Inquiry
13225 North Verde River Drive, Suite 104
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268-8454
Phone: (480) 816-6094
Fax: (480) 816-6107
and Co-Presenter(s)
Gordon Aubrecht, Ohio State University, Marion, aubrecht -at- mps.ohio-state.edu

(1) AAAS Science NetLinks, "Spontaneous Generation," http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm?DocID=126

Research supported in part by grants from the Ohio Department of Education, #60018325 and 60021887, "Systemic Change Through Embedded Professional Development at a STEM+C Middle School (IMPACT II)".