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Celebrating Astronomy: A Star’s Story

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Thursday, September 25, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program Dr. Cathy Ezrailson, Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota and Dr. Susana Deustua, Researcher at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and co-chair of the US International Year of Astronomy, provided content and resources related to astronomy from The Physics Front, a digital collection of resources for teaching physics for secondary teachers that is a part of ComPADRE, the NSDL digital library for physics and astronomy

Dr. Deustua discussed the formation and life cycle of stars and how scientists identify and classify stars. Using models and spectral analysis, scientists can determine physical characteristics of stars. Dr. Ezrailson pointed to examples of online resources that are found in The Physics Front collection. These resources are organized specifically for the K-12 educator, ranging from classroom activities, labs, simulations and other useful resources across a wide variety of physics topics.

Ninety (90) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. One participant attended the program from Australia and another from Colombia. Participants received a certificate of participation, and a one-year subscription to an NSTA SciGuide for attending the program and completing the evaluation form.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "This provided great background knowledge to build content knowledge for me on stars, preparing me to teach this in my classroom."

  • "It was cool to see the technology connect everyone together. I thought that it was a great learning experience."

  • "For this being my first time attending a web seminar, I thought it was really easy to set up. I enjoyed learning about star formation."

  • "I enjoy the ability to see questions from others that I might not have thought of and the live interaction with the presenters is just awesome."

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


See when other NSDL/NSTA Web Seminars are scheduled.

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