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Slooh: The Gamification Of Astronomy Education

Presentation #214.03 in the session “Education, Outreach, and Public Engagement”.

Published onJun 18, 2021
Slooh: The Gamification Of Astronomy Education

Slooh is an internet-based, gamified learning platform focused on bringing authentic exploration of the Universe into the classroom through the use of robotic telescopes. Light pollution in urban areas has disconnected students from the cosmos. Slooh fills that gap by empowering students to reach for the stars under some of the world’s darkest and most pristine skies.

Slooh’s mission is to reclaim the night sky, our cosmic perspective, and Earth’s place in space by providing everyone with the power to control professional-grade telescopes in premier observatories around the world. Slooh allows students to explore space, capture celestial objects, learn about the fantastic objects unveiled by Slooh’s telescopes, and earn Gravity Points—Slooh’s equivalent of experience points—along the way. Students earn Gravity Points using the Slooh platform, undertaking activities and level-up as famous astronomers, starting with Ptolemy and working towards Hubble.

Slooh offers astronomy education through the control of ten robotic telescopes located in the Canary Islands and Chile. Using Slooh, students develop scientific thinking skills by exploring the night sky’s most breathtaking objects in a similar manner as professionals by scheduling missions on the telescopes. Additionally, the telescopes broadcast the scheduled missions live on Slooh for real-time viewing.

Slooh offers step-by-step experiential learning programs called Quests which are fun, authentic educational laboratory activities that use the live telescopes to learn astronomical concepts. Students learn about the celestial objects they capture with the telescopes during the Quest. Quests are aimed at students of all levels. While Quests focus on astronomy, they also cover important STEAM topics—mathematics, science, mythology, art, literature, etc. Students generate an infographic that showcases their captured images and serves as a reminder of what they’ve learned while working on the Quest.

Slooh also offers private online Clubs for student engagement and interaction—these spaces foster collaboration and competition, similar to that in the scientific community. Slooh regularly holds live Star Parties for students to learn even more about current events in astronomy, such as a solar eclipse or a planetary opposition. Most importantly, Slooh provides a direct means for students to connect with the Universe and fosters a spirit of collaborative citizen science for the next generation.

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