WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms initiative is designing, developing and producing dynamic instructional multi-media content for distribution to millions of educators and students across the U.S. via PBS LearningMedia, a free online K-12 digital media library. Resources include images, data visualizations, and videos drawn from NASA agencies as well as WGBH’s signature programs like NOVA and PEEP & the Big Wide World, to provide K-12 STEM teachers with high-quality digital resources for teaching topics in Earth and Space science. Resources have been designed to be accessible for diverse leaners and include support materials such as background essays, teaching tips, and student handouts, for easy curricular integration. Lesson Plans have been developed to address the content and practices of the new K-12 Framework for Science Education (NRC, 2012).
What does your team hope to achieve?
Through extensive evaluation efforts, as well as ongoing testing of resources by 50 K-12 STEM Teacher Advisors who are working with hundreds of students across the U.S., WGBH aims to establish successful strategies and best practices for the use of digital media in STEM instruction. These strategies and practices will be documented and shared with other NASA SMD collaborators.
Project Web Site
NASA is generating an ever-increasing amount of digital data that is constantly changing our view—and understanding—of the universe. With the correct framing, this data represents a new form of media—with the potential to drive innovation in educational approaches and the stories we can tell. As is, increasing availability of this data doesn't mean increased accessibility—especially to younger audiences and for use in instruction. Innovative instructional media tools and resources are increasingly well-positioned to leverage digital data for the design and advancement of new modes of STEM learning. Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms, as a project, seeks to design modern, digital curricula for effective teaching and learning in STEM-specific content areas—ultimately answering the question of how to best leverage emerging formats of scientific data to engage students and support teachers. –Rachel Connolly, Project Principal Investigator, Director of STEM Education, WGBH & PBS LearningMedia