Issue 3 of the Journal and Review of Astronomy Education and Outreach (JRAEO) is now available. You may download the issue JRAEO003.
Issue 3 Table of Contents
1. Editor’s Statement P.1.
2. Assistant Editor’s Statement P.2.
3. Research Article: A Direct Examination of College Student Misconceptions in Astronomy. II. Validity of the Astronomy Beliefs Inventory
Andrej Favia, Neil F. Comins, and Geoffrey L. Thorpe. P. A3.
Abstract: This is the second in a series of papers in which we examine the persistence of 215 common misconceptions using a new instrument, the Astronomy Beliefs Inventory. In the first paper, we showed that the data in the ABI meet the statistical criteria for an internal validity analysis. In this paper, we examine the concurrent validity of the ABI by comparing student responses from the instrument with data from four instructional instruments, including multiplechoice exams and free-response questions, administered in their introductory astronomy course during the Fall 2013 semester. Two of the instruments were administered prior to instruction on the associated topics. We show that the validity of the ABI is supported through significant correlations with all four of the instruments under consideration.
4. General Article: You Can Touch These! Creating 3D Tactile Representations of Hubble Space Telescope Images
Carol Christian, Antonella Nota, Perry Greenfield, Noreen Grice, and Natialie Shaheen. P. B33.
Abstract: Astronomical imagery is engaging, inspiring, stimulates public interest, and has proven successful in advancing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics education. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) discoveries are publicly disseminated routinely through text, images, graphics, visualization, multimedia, social networking and other online mechanisms. To extend these resources to visually impaired individuals and other individuals who could benefit from handson physical materials, we created prototype tactile renditions of stunning HST astronomical images on a 3D printer. This paper describes briefly the translation of scientific data from the analysis of HST observations into a format appropriate for 3D printing. Then we describe the resulting tactile 3D prints, outfitted with textures associated with features in a celestial object, specifically using the star-forming region NGC 602 as a prototype. We outline the various textures we adopted and how they were evaluated by several focus groups. We converged on a production and print method and a robust set of textures for blind users and other learners who can benefit from tactile materials. Ultimately a library of these tactile 3D print files can be integrated with a suite of HST educational resources available and distributed through the internet.
5. General Article: Solar Wind Modeling: A Computational Tool for the Classroom
Lauren N. Woolsey. P. 49.
Abstract: This article presents a Python model and library that can be used for student investigation of the application of fundamental physics on a specific problem: the role of magnetic field in solar wind acceleration. The physics included in the model, The Efficient Modified Parker Equation Solving Tool (TEMPEST), is laid out for the reader. Results using
TEMPEST on a magnetic field structure representative of the minimum phase of the Sun’s activity cycle are presented and discussed. The paper suggests several ways to use TEMPEST in an educational environment and provides access to the current version of the code.