Astronomy through a different lens

Winter is the perfect time to grab a heavy coat, make a thermos of hot chocolate and go outside to bask in the wonder of the night sky. There, you can become engulfed by the vastness and scintillation of the sky, connecting in an often personal way. People throughout time and place have done this, transcending borders and societal expectations.This realisation is a critical aspect of today’s approaches to teaching and learning astronomy.

Sometimes, sadly, it is just too cold to go outside. Try using a different lens.

Toggle between different perspectives, engaging students of all backgrounds

Stellarium is free, open-access and easy to use astronomy software. It enables students to explore the sky, stars and constellations through cultural and religious lenses. They can use the “starlore” tab to toggle between different perspectives, engaging students of all backgrounds as they find themselves in the curriculum. Not only does this create an awareness of the richness of the night sky, it cultivates an empathy to others who have different, but equally valid, starlore.

Richard Hechter, associate professor of science education at the University of Manitoba, Canada

 

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