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ERIC Number: EJ1101060
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2374-6246
Elementary Student Knowledge Gains in the Digital Portable Planetarium
Carsten-Conner, Laura D.; Larson, Angela M.; Arseneau, Jennifer; Herrick, Robert R.
Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education, v2 n2 p65-76 Dec 2015
Immersive environments hold promise to provide unique and heightened sensory experiences that focus a learner's attention, and thus may be useful learning platforms. In particular, portable planetariums may be useful in advancing conceptual knowledge about the night sky, because they afford learners with Earth-based views of celestial motions, give learners a sense of "being there," and allow direct observation of celestial motions. In this study, we asked whether a digital portable planetarium show would aid students in understanding celestial motions, as well as acquiring generalized astronomy-related knowledge. Results from our pre and post surveys suggest that students make gains in knowledge about both apparent celestial motion and general astronomy concepts after viewing a 25-minute planetarium presentation. Our results suggest that the portable planetarium may be a useful strategy in supporting learners as they struggle with reconciling observed patterns with underlying, non-observable motions of the Earth, and with visualizing concepts such as the speed of planetary orbits relative to their position with respect to the sun.
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska
Grant or Contract Numbers: NNX09AD50G