Guest Editorial: Building Ladders to the Starsby: George D. "Pinky" Nelson

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Young children love the stars and planets. They love the idea of leaving the Earth and traveling to the stars, of meeting aliens and exploring unknown worlds. Our goal in elementary school is to build the ladder to the stars and help students up the first few rungs by engaging them in explorations of the universe through some of the easily observable phenomena in the sky. After all, astronomy is the most beautiful, engaging, and life-enriching science out there!

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:23 AM

In this very short editorial the author points to the need for elementary students to be able to observe and record information such as changes or in patterns. With this in mind the author proposed that elementary students are able to see patterns such as the moon phases. He says that recognition of patterns can help children to predict and explain new observations. Learning the names of planets can lay the groundwork to building an interest to the stars.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue May 24, 2011 3:51 PM

George D. “Pinky” Nelson is Director of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. He served as a NASA astronaut from 1978 to 1989. "In the early grades, we can encourage children’s natural wonder about “what’s out there” by engaging them in observing and thinking about what they can see with their own eyes."

Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton

  • on Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:06 PM

The guest editorial presents us with an understanding of why it important to use the natural curiosity of students when they begin to seek answers to tough concepts. “Finding patterns in the motion and appearance of the Sun, Moon, and stars builds the foundation for understanding the structure of the solar system and the scientific explanations for the seasons and the phases of the Moon that will follow later. Learning to use technology such as magnifiers, rulers, and protractors to enhance naked-eye observations and measure sizes and distances will prepare them to expand their personal universe into space.”

Sandra Gady  (Renton, WA)
Sandra Gady (Renton, WA)

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