HundrED, a global education nonprofit organisation, researches inspiring innovations in education from around the world and annually selects the most inspiring 100 initiatives. Educational practices had to meet the criteria of being innovative, impactful and scalable to make it onto the list. For the 2019 list, HundrED has recognized IAU astroEDU among the top 100 innovations.
IAU astroEDU — a project from the International Astronomical Union — is an open-access platform that uses the familiar peer-review workflow of scientific publications, to improve the standards of quality, visibility and accessibility of educational activities. This online platform is a place where educators can discover, review, change, and share astronomy- and space-related activities for primary and secondary education, and also have their activities peer-reviewed by professionals in education and science.
Saku Tuominen, CEO of HundrED, said: “Spreading innovations such as AstroEDU across borders can be a gamechanger for education, worldwide. We will continue to encourage as many stakeholders as possible including schools, educators, administrators, students and organizations to get involved so that we can work towards a positive future.”
“It is not another web repository for educational resources but a mechanism for peer-reviewing and publishing high-quality astronomy education activities in an open access way,” says Michael Fitzgerald (IAU astroEDU Editor-in-Chief, Edith Cowan University). The peer review involves input from both a content specialist (scientist) and a pedagogical expert (educator). This assures educators that the activities are both scientifically current and address pedagogical and practical realities of the classroom. The activities are inquiry-based covering open-ended inquiry, guided inquiry, structured inquiry, project-based learning, and fun learning, in line with 21st-century skills needs. “In this new era of education, education is becoming more self-directed, and I look forward to developing versions that adapt to student, not just teacher, use” concludes Fitzgerald.
Innovating across digital learning environments, IAU AstroEDU also announces the release of new educational videos to explain the unknown universe, spanning concepts of black holes, dark matter and dark energy. The videos feature astronomers Thomas Russell (researcher at University of Amsterdam), Henk Hoekstra (professor at Leiden University) and Maria Cristina Fortuna (PhD candidate at Leiden University), respectively, and provide incisive explanations supporting primary and secondary school activities on the topic. Hoekstra adds, “IAU AstroEDU is an excellent platform to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and schools and we hope to see young minds engaged in solving the Universe’s most difficult mysteries.” The videos and activities are freely available on the IAU astroEDU platform.
The 5 activities and accompanying videos can be found via the links below:
Moreover, the complete list of this year’s HundrED innovations can be found here.