Presentation #214.07 in the session “Education, Outreach, and Public Engagement”.
Slooh is an internet-based 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 ten professional-grade telescopes in premier observatories around the world. Slooh enables students to explore space, capture celestial objects, and learn about the fantastic objects unveiled by Slooh’s telescopes as they embark on Quests.
Quests are step-by-step experiential learning programs that are authentic educational laboratory activities aimed at all levels. The students use the live telescopes during the Quest to learn astronomical concepts and about the celestial objects they capture during the Quest. While Quests focus on astronomical concepts, they also cover important STEAM topics—mathematics, science, history, mythology, art, literature, etc. There are different kinds of Quests depending on the subject, such as Discovery, Observation, Measurement, and Culture.
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. A Slooh Quest assesses student learning in various ways, such as multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, analysis of their captured images, calculating answers to math problems, etc. There are tools in place for educators to aggregate their students’ responses and assess their progress.
A Slooh Quest culminates with the creation of a poster-sized infographic that showcases the student’s captured images, and in some cases, incorporates their responses to questions in the Quest. These personalized infographics generate a spirit of accomplishment for the student while providing an easy tool to recall the content they learn while on the Quest.
Slooh Quests are a fun, direct means for students to connect with the Universe and fosters a spirit of collaborative citizen science for the next generation.