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Proceedings Paper

Empowering schoolchildren to do astronomical science with images
Author(s): L. Raeside; B. Busschots; E. O'Cinneide; S. Foy; J. G. Keating
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Paper Abstract

In 1991 the TIE (Telescopes in Education) Foundation provided schoolchildren with the ability to access professional observatory telescopes remotely. TIE has raised the profile of astronomy and science among schoolchildren. Since the initiation of this facility the TIE Foundation have spread their reach from one telescope in the US to many telescopes and many schools across the globe. The VTIE (Virtual Telescopes in Education) project was launched in 2001 to build on the success of TIE. The VTIE VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) provides a Web portal through which pupils can create a scientific proposal, retrieve astronomical images, and produce a scientific paper summarizing their learning experiences of the VTIE scientific process. Since the completion of the first formative evaluations of VTIE (which involved over 250 schoolchildren) it has been observed that the participating schoolchildren have had difficulty completing and understanding the practical imaging aspects of astronomical science. Our experimental observations have revealed that the imaging tools currently available to astronomers have not ported well to schools. The VTIE imaging tools developed during our research will provide schoolchildren with the ability to store, acquire, manipulate and analyze images within the VTIE VLE. It is hypothesized herein that the provision of exclusively child-centered imaging software components will improve greatly the children's empowerment within the VTIE scientific process. Consequentially the addition of fully integrated child-centered imaging tools will contribute positively to the overall VTIE goal to promote science among schoolchildren.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 June 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5827, Opto-Ireland 2005: Photonic Engineering, (8 June 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.606094
Show Author Affiliations
L. Raeside, National Univ. of Ireland/Maynooth (Ireland)
B. Busschots, National Univ. of Ireland/Maynooth (Ireland)
E. O'Cinneide, National Univ. of Ireland/Maynooth (Ireland)
S. Foy, National Univ. of Ireland/Maynooth (Ireland)
J. G. Keating, National Univ. of Ireland/Maynooth (Ireland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5827:
Opto-Ireland 2005: Photonic Engineering
Thomas J. Glynn; John T. Sheridan; Brian W. Bowe; Ronan F. O'Dowd; Gerard M. O'Connor; Aidan J.H. Flanagan; Gerard D. O'Sullivan; Gerald Byrne; Jonathan Magee, Editor(s)

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