About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5614-5622
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.1381

Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain

ASTRONOMY IN EDUCATION: SIMULATING SPACE RESEARCH EXPERIMENT IN THE CLASSROOM BY WRITING COMPUTER CODES

G. Bampasidis, L. Galani, G. Koutromanos

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
Science teachers’ main concern is to motivate their students to actively participate in their lessons. Since students are usually excited about Astronomy, subjects of the Space Science can be used as educational tools to engage them in the learning process.

In this framework, the European Space Agency (ESA) challenges student teams to enter the annual European Astro Pi contest. This contest gives the opportunity to young students to design and perform a space science experiment by building a computer program in Python language. Selected codes run on the International Space Station (ISS). Python is an open-source object-oriented computer language and it is used in many project-based learning activities.

In this paper, we present a project for secondary education inspired by the participation of the Astro Pi Challenge. We ask students to design a space experiment by using the microprocessor equipment provided by ESA. The case study of the project is to search for any Sun effects to the inner environment of ISS using the sensors of the Astro Pi. NASA and ESA plan to send manned missions to explore Moon and Mars in the near future and perform similar investigations. ISS is an excellent platform for simulating space travels. Radiation and thermal effects of the Sun on the internal of the spacecraft is one important issue that scientists and engineers have to deal with.

As the maintenance of a comfortable artificial atmosphere is crucial to future space travelers’ lives on a long interplanetary journey, students are asked to investigate possible variations in the interior (pressure, temperature, luminosity) during the light/dark circles. Obviously, it is not feasible to run the codes in ISS. Students simulations are tested in the terrestrial day/night circle. Therefore, the programs run in rooms at least for a 24-hour period. If the experiment was conducted in the ISS, only few hours would be needed since ISS orbits Earth every 90 minutes.

This simulation suggests a combination of data that will be collected by the Astro Pi temperature and pressure sensors. It is also equipped with a visible camera. The experiment design uses this camera as a luminosity sensor, during the day/night circle. A previous student experience in writing code is not prerequisite. Students work in small groups and each team presents and compares its results with the other groups.

This activity focuses on developing transversal skills and competences of the envolved students such as scientific knowledge, cognitive and communication skills. These skills are crucial for the future European citizen. Students’ reception, collaboration and performance to this activity is impressive. It seems that the project meets students’ needs for further active involvement in the learning process.
@InProceedings{BAMPASIDIS2019AST,
author = {Bampasidis, G. and Galani, L. and Koutromanos, G.},
title = {ASTRONOMY IN EDUCATION: SIMULATING SPACE RESEARCH EXPERIMENT IN THE CLASSROOM BY WRITING COMPUTER CODES},
series = {13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2019 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-08619-1},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2019.1381},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2019.1381},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {11-13 March, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {5614-5622}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Bampasidis AU - L. Galani AU - G. Koutromanos
TI - ASTRONOMY IN EDUCATION: SIMULATING SPACE RESEARCH EXPERIMENT IN THE CLASSROOM BY WRITING COMPUTER CODES
SN - 978-84-09-08619-1/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2019.1381
PY - 2019
Y1 - 11-13 March, 2019
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2019 Proceedings
SP - 5614
EP - 5622
ER -
G. Bampasidis, L. Galani, G. Koutromanos (2019) ASTRONOMY IN EDUCATION: SIMULATING SPACE RESEARCH EXPERIMENT IN THE CLASSROOM BY WRITING COMPUTER CODES, INTED2019 Proceedings, pp. 5614-5622.
User:
Pass: