ERIC Number: EJ958347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Reference Count: 42
Looking Back at the Sputnik Era and Its Impact on Science Education
Wissehr, Cathy; Concannon, Jim; Barrow, Lloyd H.
School Science and Mathematics, v111 n7 p368-375 Nov 2011
Two years and seven months after the initiation of the U.S. satellite program, Soviet Russia launched a rocket north of the Caspian Sea carrying the now famous "Sputnik I" satellite. U.S. scientists were aware that Soviet Russia was planning on putting an artificial satellite into orbit; however, secrecy surrounding the timing and the location of the launch of the satellite served to intensify the Cold War and America's deepening distrust of Soviet Russia. The launching of Sputnik was a trumpet call to the U.S. educational system. Even if the public did not know much about rocketry, satellites, or space, they did understand a perceived blow to national pride. In celebration of the recent golden anniversary of the launching of the Soviet satellite, Sputnik I, this paper takes an historical perspectives approach to examine the social, political, and educational climate in the United States leading up to the launch. Ramifications to science education are discussed, and implications are made for the relevance of this event to science education today.
Descriptors: Satellites (Aerospace), Foreign Countries, Science Education, Political Attitudes, Social Attitudes, Educational Attitudes, Patriotism, Educational History, Intellectual History, Innovation, Cultural Activities, Educational Development, Academic Achievement, Science Achievement, Performance Factors, Foreign Policy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia; United States