Academic journal article Science Scope

Adding Some STEAM to Astronomy

Academic journal article Science Scope

Adding Some STEAM to Astronomy

Article excerpt

Astronomy, amongst all the sciences, is unusual in its ability to inspire. Through the ages, and in almost every culture on Earth, objects in the sky have been the subject of countless drawings, poems, and pieces of music.

--Ask an Astronomer, Astronomy in the Arts

The media has been buzzing lately with astronomy-related news, from April's "blood Moon" to the seven Academy Awards given to Gravity, a movie that weaves together astronomy and the art of filmmaking. More recently, Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and the director of the Hayden Planetarium, hosted Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. This television series marked the return of a beloved program that was first hosted by Carl Sagan 34 years ago.

The developers of the Cosmos reboot have said that they hope their series can nurture people's "ability to wonder"--an excellent goal for middle school science teachers who might want to look to art to enliven students' curiosity as they learn astronomy.

Middle-level astronomy lessons can be illustrated and reinforced by adding artwork, literature, and cultural connections; the inclusion of art projects can make astronomy topics more engaging to students. I have compiled a short list of my favorite resources to get you started. …

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