Image that reads Center for Educational Technologies. This image links to the Center for Educational Technologies home page.
WV NASA Organizations Partner on Lunar Science Education

Mon Nov 15 2010

West Virginia's two NASA entities have begun a partnership to develop and disseminate a professional development model for lunar science.

The NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future and the Educator Resource Center at the NASA IV & V Facility in Fairmont are working together to present an instructional unit on lunar science. The unit enables educators to infuse state of the art learning technologies—companion educational environments MoonWorld and Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME—into their science classroom.

The Classroom of the Future™ has created both Selene and MoonWorld to study the best ways to teach NASA science and assess student learning in online environments. In the Selene videogame players learn fundamental planetary science by forming the Earth's Moon through accretion and then simulating its evolution over time through impact cratering and volcanism. Players build concrete knowledge as they identify with physical science concepts.

MoonWorld's players explore these concepts as they conduct lunar geology fieldwork in teams of four on a virtual Moon in the Second Life virtual world. MoonWorld is scheduled to be available in the Open Sims virtual environment in December so that students under the age of 18 can access the virtual world.

The Classroom of the Future has developed a number of professional development activities to guide educator and student understanding of how to observe the Moon. The two organizations will begin to roll out professional development activities during workshops this winter and spring. The IV & V Facility will host the 2011 workshops at its facility and build the unit into its equipment loan certification training for its telescope kits. The partners plan to take the model nationwide in 2011-2012.