Evaluating the effectiveness of teaching with a Digitarium planetarium system
These are ideas for questions to help you evaluate if teaching with a Digitarium system:1) improves scientific literacy
2) increases students' enjoyment of and interest in science
3) improves students' understanding of some abstract astronomical concepts.
The same set of questions should be given to students about one week before they experience the projector and about one week after. Quiz questions would be tailored for different ages.
kindergarten through 2nd grade questions:
2) How many planets are there in our solar system, including Earth?
3) In what ways does Earth move?
4) How does the sun help the earth?
5) Why can we see the sun?
Possible 3rd through 5th grade questions:1) I enjoy science. Rate on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (more than any other subject).
2) What does the term 'phases of the moon' refer to?
3) What causes the phases of the moon?
4) What causes the seasons we experience on Earth?
5) Draw the earth, moon, and sun system.
6) How are stars different from planets?
7) In what ways does Earth move?
Possible 6th through 8th grade questions:
1) I enjoy science. Rate on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (more than any other subject).
2) What do the words “science” and “technology” mean to you? Give at least one example of each.
3) How do science and technology work together? Give at least one example to support your answer.
4) Draw the earth, moon, and sun in relation to each other. Be sure to include arrows showing the direction of rotation and revolution of the earth and moon, as well as axial tilt (if applicable).
5) What causes the phases of the moon? Draw a diagram to support your answer.
6) What causes the seasons we experience on Earth? Draw a diagram to support your answer.
7) How and why do latitude and longitude affect your view of the sky?
8) What keeps the planets in orbit around the sun?
9) How can we tell that the earth is in motion?
Possible 9th through 12th grade questions:
1) I am considering a career in science. Rate how true this statement is for you on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (absolutely).
2) How would you define the word “science?”
3) How did the invention of the telescope help advance our knowledge of the universe?
4) What is Newton's law of universal gravitation? Why is it important?
5) Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit?
6) What is the electromagnetic spectrum? Give names of some parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
7) What is a light year? Why do astronomers use light years?
8) What is the ecliptic and why is it relevant?
9) By what process do stars get their energy?
10) What are three differences between astronomy and astrology?
11) How can we tell that the earth is in motion?
After being loaded and dropped and bounced and loaded again it [our Digitarium Alpha 2] has performed flawlessly for over seven years. It has earned at least twice its purchase price and provided thousands of students and parents a wonderful learning experience.
— Max McKelvey, Oatland Island Education Center, Savannah, GA