Designing a Set of Web-Based Simulations to Facilitate STEAM Activities on How to Travel From Earth to Mars

Designing a Set of Web-Based Simulations to Facilitate STEAM Activities on How to Travel From Earth to Mars

Ilias Sitsanlis, Hariton M. Polatoglou
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3861-9.ch014
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In this chapter, the authors analyze a subject that is suitable for STEAM education and design a set of web-based simulations and material for blended learning to support STEAM activities on how to travel from Earth to Mars. Interplanetary travel involves astronomy, biology, and physics for science; technology to make it possible; engineering to optimize a possible solution; art to produce artwork based on the orbits of planets and boost creativity; and mathematics to solve the differential equations, obtain data, and perform data analysis to reach conclusions. Based on the ADDIE model, the presently related and available simulations were analyzed and based on that analysis a set of streamlined simulations are proposed, designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated. Similarly, a didactic sequence was implemented. The evaluation of the didactic sequence and the streamlined simulations by expert educators testifies that the proposed method to create STEAM inquiry and simulation-based activities is productive and can be used with a variety of interesting STEAM integration subjects.
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The magnitudes on the astronomical scale are enormous compared to those on Earth. The human mind and especially of a child is very difficult to perceive such scales. At such scales it is impossible for students to make measurements and study the motions of the planets. For these scales we need tools such as interactive simulations to investigate astronomical phenomena (Barab, Hay, Barnett, & Keating, 2000; Barnett, Yamagata-Lynch, Keating, Barab, & Hay, 2005)

Key Terms in this Chapter

NASA: Is an acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ADDIE: Is an acronym for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate and those are the steps guiding an educational design.

IEP: Is an acronym for Illustrations, Explorations, Problem and shows how to use a simulation.

STEAM: Is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

Inquiry Continuum: It is a student-centered teaching approach that is based on inquiry. Depending on who conducts the questions, procedures, and tools one can have the different levels of inquiry. The student using all the above and following the scientific method formulates the conclusions of his research.

Hohmann Transfer: It is the trajectory of a spacecraft that moves from one circular orbit to another. This transfer is the most efficient transfer, and the spacecraft uses the least possible fuel.

Simulation: Simulation is the process of using a software that simulates a natural phenomenon based on a model. The user through a user interface can change certain variables and watch on her computer screen how the phenomenon evolves.

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