Please read the astroEDU Activities Preparation Guide as you prepare your activity.
When designing keep the rubric that you will be assessed against in mind. We have a separate rubric for educators and for content specialists , which we ask reviewers to use when reviewing activities.
We encourage you to incorporate inquiry-based learning approaches in your activities.
When your activity is ready use the provided form which you can email as a doc, docx or rtf to the astroEDU team. This form represents the typical astroedu online activity structure. It is very likely that your activity will also require worksheets, spreadsheets, data (e.g. fits files, images or csv files), powerpoints, high quality media amongst other supplementary material on top of this basic structure. We suggest that you provide access to these as a download link in the email (using a tool such as sendspace or wetransfer) and that they are also in editable form for potential users.
Below you can find a detailed explanation for the different sections of astroEDU activities.
Name of Authors: Name/s of the people who authored the activity in order of % contribution.
Abstract A brief 250 word account of what this activity is about, what the students will learn in this activity and how they will learn in this activity.
Affiliation or organisation: Affiliations of the people who submit the activity.
Country: Country of the people who submits the activity.
Email address of corresponding author: Email address of the person who submits the activity. Editor will send all communication about the activity to this address.
Activity title: Full title of the activity (at most two lines).
Original Author of the Activity: If the person who submits the activity is not the original author of the activity, please add the name of the original author and infromation about the source.
Acknowledgements: List any people or organisations you would like to acknowledge contributions or support from.
Keywords: Please choose up to 5 keywords that relate to the subject, goals or audience of the activity. Editor may select and add relevant keywords.
Content Area focus Is this predominantly an astronomy activity, an earth science activity or an activity from another area of science?
Specific Content Categories We have provided keywords capturing large areas within each particular science. Please select all those which are relevant to your activity.
Type/s of Learning Activity There are many different types of Learning Activity, each has their place and use. Please select those types which represent best your activity. You can select more than one.
Age range: Choose the age range(s) most appropriate for the activity. NB We ask about both the age range and education level because age groups within education systems in different countries sometimes don’t match up with each other.
Education level: Choose the educational level(s) most appropriate for the activity. NB We ask about both the age range and education level because age groups within education systems in different countries sometimes don’t match up with each other.
Time: The duration of the activity.
Group/Individual Is this activity intended for groups or individuals?
Maximum number of people at once Largest amount of participants possible for activity.
Supervised for Safety: Does the activity have steps which need adult supervision for safety? E.g., using scissors or knife.
Cost per student: Broadly, is this a low cost, a medium cost, a high cost or free activity?
Location: The location needed to conduct the activity.
Language: The language the activity is submitted in. Please note that astroEDU accepts activities in any language, but for now only activities in English will be peer-reviewed (and potentially published).
List of materials: List of items needed for the activity. Try to find materials which are common in most countries.
Goals: A short list of points outlining the general purpose of the activity, and why these are important for students to learn. For example, “The overall goals of the activity are for students to understand why we experience seasons, and to improve their ability to communicate scientific findings. Seasons are important to understand because they affect daily life and involve concepts about light that are important in other contexts as well.” (More specific learning objectives are entered below.)
Learning objectives This box addresses the scientific content students will learn. A learning objective is a specific statement of what students are intended to learn, ideally in terms of how they will demonstrate that learning. For example, “Students will use the concept of solar flux as a function of incidence angle to explain why it is hot in summer and cold in winter in Toronto.” The demonstration of learning should be tied directly to Evaluation (next box). You can find additional information on formulating good learning objectives at http://teachonline.asu.edu/objectives-builder/ and http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Learning_objective.
Evaluation: How the teacher will elicit evidence of student learning, to evaluate how well students are achieving the learning objectives above. E.g., “Ask students to present posters to their classmates explaining why it is hot in summer and cold in winter in Toronto.” Evaluation can take place during the activity, as well as at the end. (E.g., “As groups of students discuss ideas about the seasons, look for them to draw a picture showing the Sun’s light spread over different areas depending on the angle in the sky.”) The Evaluation box can include what the teacher should look for to know that students understand, and also common ways students might show that they do not yet understand. This box can also include how to evaluate competency at the scientific practices in the next box. A useful tool for evaluating student learning is a rubric (see http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/rubrics.html)
Core skills: This box addresses practices of doing science and thinking scientifically that students will learn from the activity. A framework for describing scientific practices is from the U.S.’s “Next Generation Science Standards” which include: asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analysing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence, and communicating information. Please try to incorporate into the activity opportunities for students to learn scientific, numeracy and literacy practices, and identify those practices in this box.
Background information: This section contains information that teachers will read prior to beginning the activity. Please keep in mind what is actually necessary for the activity, and the background of the teacher (e.g., explain concepts clearly, and do not use inappropriately technical vocabulary). Limit each topic to one paragraph. You can use the “Additional information” section to add URLs for more details.
Full description of the activity: Detailed steps of the activity. These can include directions for what the teacher should do and say when, and what the students should do. It can also describe different pathways and suggestions for facilitating the activity (e.g., “A common misconception is that the seasons are caused by different distances between Earth and the Sun. If a student demonstrates this misconception, the teacher might ask them what season it is in the opposite hemisphere, and draw a picture to explain why.”) Use graphics when appropriate to show steps.
Short description of Supplementary material: List the supplementary material you have provided for the activity with a short, one or two sentence explanation of it's purpose and place in the activity.
Connection to school curriculum: Add the curriculum connection from author’s country and find further connections through the editorial board.
Additional information: Any additional information on expanding the activity or learning the activity topic further.
Conclusion: One paragraph summarising the activity and what students should have learned.
Further Reading: A list of the best external sources, especially books, accessible journal articles or print media, for more background information.
References A traditional list of references for all articles and material referenced in the text. Any standard referencing system is fine as long as it is consistent within the article.