NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ758638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Our Place in the Spongy Universe
Bogner, Donna; Wentworth, Benning L.; Ristvey, John; Yanow, Gil; Wiens, Roger
Science Teacher, v73 n3 p38-43 Mar 2006
Physicist James Trefil once describes the universe as "The Spongy Universe," comparing large-scale cosmic structures to the structure of a sponge. The NASA Genesis education module "Cosmic Chemistry: Cosmogony" features the "Spongy Universe" activity in which pairs of students observe a household sponge, making inferences about how the structures and holes in the sponge were made and, by extension, how the structures and voids in the universe may have formed. Because the sponge is such a good model for the universe, the authors of this article modified this "Spongy Universe" activity for use with visually impaired students and pilot tested it at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. Upon completion of the pilot test, they learned that teachers work more effectively with visually impaired students in the classroom when they achieve three objectives: (1) to help all students "see" with their "mind's eye" when introducing new concepts; (2) to use manipulatives and tactile graphics to help visually impaired students learn abstract concepts; and (3) to use visualization techniques involving familiar things to help students learn new abstract concepts. (Contains 5 figures.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado