Paper Plate Education
Foundations Through Art & Paper Plates (AFTAPP)
Astronomy Foundations Through Art & Paper Plates (AFTAPP)
is a coalition of space scientists, educators and artists who intend to provide
inner-city students with the tools and framework to study science, culture and
modern astronomical discoveries in a holistic manner.
AFTAPP will create multi-disciplinary teaching aids that engage diverse
populations, including those with limited access to technology or financial
resources, and will expand on an initiative of the GLPA that promotes the
creative use of paper plates as instructional materials.
The start-up program, funded by an IDEAS grant, consists
primarily of three or more teacher workshops with an emphasis on observing and
learning the night sky from an urban location.
The workshop hosts will first model the motion of the earth around the
sun to illustrate the seasonal stars, the circumpolar stars, and the stars of
the zodiac. This model will be
reinforced by a session in a portable planetarium.
In a second workshop at the African American Museum in
Cleveland, the teachers will learn interpretations of the star patterns as told
by both Western and African cultures. A
NASA astronomer will then incorporate recent astronomical discoveries into our
understanding of popular star groupings. After
observing the constellations in the night sky, the teachers will be challenged
to come up with their own expression of the constellations, a fusing of the old
lore and the current scientific understanding.
In the third workshop, teachers will work with the Museums resident artist to make kiln-baked clay tiles that depict new representations of the zodiacal constellations. The tiles will become part of a larger piece of astronomical art that is being proposed for installation in the Cleveland area.
Related paper plate activities will supplement the lessons
the teachers take back to their classrooms.
The IDEAS funding supports the new Paper Plate Education website
at http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate, which debuted at the conference.
Additionally, participating teachers will receive a copy of the GLPAs Paper
Plate Astronomy videotape, which demonstrates the construction and use of
about 10 technical paper plate designs.
AFTAPP participants will take their experience and the material back to their respective classrooms, where its efficacy will be professionally evaluated. We welcome input that will strengthen the proposed program for the benefit of the teachers and students alike.
Copyright ©2012 Chuck Bueter. All rights reserved.