Year Three (Nov 1, 2001 to Oct 31, 2002)
The projects for Year Three reflect a major refinement and refocusing of CfAOs educational projects that is closely tied to the overall restructuring of the Center. A wide range of activities have been initiated as the Center matures to create an environment that fully integrates research and education. During Year Three, the activities have focused on inquiry-based teaching, clustered mentoring, and the development of instructional materials that bring CfAO research into the classroom, public arena and the Stars, Sight and Science program.
"Inquiry is an approach to learning that involves a process of exploring the natural or material world, and that leads to asking questions, making discoveries, and rigorously testing those discoveries in the search for new understanding. Inquiry, as it relates to science education, should mirror as closely as possible the enterprise of doing real science." Foundations, Volume 2, Inquiry: Thoughts, Views and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom, 1999. National Science Foundation, Division of Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education.
Education projects at the CfAO utilize both existing instructional material and activities developed by Center members. During a CfAO Mini-Grant, Tiffany Glassman reviewed the instructional activities used by the CfAO to determine which activities might be most appropriate for developing new inquiry based activities. A description of her process and her recommendations is available.