3D Visualization in Elementary Education Astronomy: Teaching Urban Second Graders about Sun, Earth, and the Moon

Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne
Beomjin Kim, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne
Jeffrey A. Nowak, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne

Abstract

This research-in-progress hypothesizes that urban second graders can have an early understanding about the shape of Sun, Moon, and Earth, how day and night happens, and how Moon appears to change its shape by using three dimensional stereoscopic vision. The 3D stereoscopic vision system might be an effective way to teach subjects like astronomy that explains relationships among objects in space. Currently, Indiana state standards for science teaching do not suggest the teaching of these astronomical concepts explicitly before fourth grade. Yet, we expect our findings to indicate that students can learn these concepts earlier in their educational lives with the implementation of such technologies. We also project that these technologies could revolutionize when these concepts could be taught to children and expand the ways we think about children’s cognitive capacities in understanding scientific concepts.