Education Research

H. Houghton, P. Udomprasert, S. Sunbury, E. Wright, A. Goodman, E. Johnson, and A. Bishop. 2019. “Cultivating Curiosity with Life in the Universe and WorldWide Telescope.” Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 524, 273.Abstract
When students encounter complex topics like the search for extraterrestrial life, questions abound - thoughtful, unpredictable, and often profound. Despite this thriving curiosity, the first step to be able to explore complex questions is developing the capacity to verbalize a meaningful question. The WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors team designed an out-of-school curriculum called Life in the Universe, which engages middle school-aged students in the science and scientific process of the search for distant life. Students practice generating meaningful questions, which will guide them through the science content, as groups of students build to culminating capstone projects. Results from surveys administered to participating students indicate gains in curiosity in science, as well as in seeing oneself as successful in science.
Pecan Pie Logo for "PRISEd Conversation 2020" with photo of Dr. Goodman

Blog Feature: Dr. Alyssa Goodman talks with the The Harvard College Program in Science and Engineering (PRISE)

September 23, 2020

Dr. Alyssa Goodman talks with Felicia Ho, PRISE, Harvard College '23 about Jacques Cousteau, data visualization, climate change, prediction science, and the wide arc of influences that have shaped her multifaceted career as the Robert Wheeler Wilson Professor of Applied Astronomy at Harvard. 


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P. Udomprasert, H. Houghton, S. Sunbury, J. Plummer, E. Wright, A. Goodman, E. Johnson, H. Zhang, A. Vaishampayan, and K. Cho. 11/2019. “Visualizing Seasons and Moon Phases with WorldWide Telescope.” Advancing Astronomy for All: ASP 2018 ASP Conference Series, 524, Pp. 125. Publisher's VersionAbstract

WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a powerful visualization program that allows users to connect Earth-based and space-based views of the Sun- Earth-Moon system. By blending hands-on physical activities with WWT's virtual models, students can visualize spatially complex concepts like seasons, Moon phases, and eclipses. In this workshop, we will demonstrate how WWT and the physical models are used together in our WWT ThinkSpace curriculum, developed with funding from the National Science Foundation. We will also present student learning outcomes based on written assessments and student interviews.

Introduction to Visualization for Teachers, at Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Tuesday, July 9, 2019:

These are Alyssa Goodman's presentation slides for the Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers (SSEAT) 2019 workshop, held at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA on July 9, 2019.

Dataverse link to all materials, including Keynote slides

Reference with doi for this work:  Goodman, Alyssa, 2020, "Introduction to Visualization for Teachers", ...

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We try to share all our data openly.  Much of it is in Dataverse repositories, as explained here.  
Putnam Avenue Upper School eighth-graders Liam Mahari (left) and Viviany Barbosa Brito work with project director Patricia Udomprasert during a hands-on lab.

Harvard’s ThinkSpace brings hard science to Cambridge grade schools | Harvard Gazette

November 14, 2017

Many people think seasons are caused by changing distance between the Earth and Sun, an idea that can be reinforced by misleading textbook diagrams. But that’s not the case. To help set the record straight, CfA experts designed the ThinkSpace (Thinking Spatially about the Universe) program to address long-held misconceptions about the cycle of the seasons by focusing on spatial thinking. This fall, through a collaboration with Cambridge Public Schools(CPS), they’re letting local students in on the science.... Read more about Harvard’s ThinkSpace brings hard science to Cambridge grade schools | Harvard Gazette

PredictionX: A Look at the Future (of Online Learning?), at Harvard University IT Summit, Cambridge, MA, Thursday, June 8, 2017

PredictionX Title PageHarvard University IT Summit, PredictionX: A Look at the Future (of Online Learning?) (key, 559 MB), (pdf, 103 MB)

Twenty-five faculty from across Harvard’s schools are working with each other, as well as with a handful of outside experts, to create an extensive collection of online resources (interview-style and demonstration videos, text, interactive visualizations,... Read more about PredictionX: A Look at the Future (of Online Learning?)