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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Turning Eyes to the Big Sky project: learning optics in middle school
Author(s): Mary J. Leonard; Ryan M. Hannahoe; Gustav E. Nollmeyer

Paper Abstract

The Turning Eyes to the Big Sky project offered schools in southwestern Montana a unique opportunity to strengthen science instruction. The project implemented, in a formal setting, a nationally established informal science curriculum on light and optics, the Hands-on Optics Terrific Telescopes curriculum. Terrific Telescopes was implemented in 8 middle school classrooms, reaching 166 students during the 2010-11 school year. As part of the project, we conducted a teacher workshop and assessed student learning outcomes and teachers' experiences with the curriculum. The goals of our assessments were to improve our understanding of how students learn key optics-related principles, provide evidence of the learning outcomes of Terrific Telescopes, and find out how teachers adapt it for use in formal settings. Our research established that students in every classroom learned optics concepts and identified ways to support and supplement the curriculum for use in classrooms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8481, Optics Education and Outreach II, 84810G (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928895
Show Author Affiliations
Mary J. Leonard, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Ryan M. Hannahoe, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Gustav E. Nollmeyer, Montana State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8481:
Optics Education and Outreach II
G. Groot Gregory, Editor(s)

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