Skip to Navigation ↓
Within the efforts to bring frontline interactive astrophysics and astronomy to the classroom, the Hands on Universe (HOU) developed a set of exercises and platform using real data obtained by some of the most advanced ground and space observatories. The backbone of this endeavour is a new free software Web tool - Such a Lovely Software for Astronomy based on Image J (Salsa J). It is student-friendly and developed specifically for the HOU project and targets middle and high schools. It allows students to display, analyze, and explore professionally obtained astronomical images, while learning concepts on gravitational dynamics, kinematics, nuclear fusion, electromagnetism. The continuous evolving set of exercises and tutorials is being completed with real (professionally obtained) data to download and detailed tutorials. The flexibility of the Salsa J platform tool enables students and teachers to extend the exercises with their own observations. The software developed for the HOU program has been designed to be a multi-platform, multi-lingual experience for image manipulation and analysis in the classroom. Its design enables easy implementation of new facilities (extensions and plugins), minimal in-situ maintenance and flexibility for exercise plugin. Here, we describe some of the most advanced exercises about astrophysics in the classroom, addressing particular examples on gravitational dynamics, concepts currently introduced in most sciences curricula in middle and high schools.
Rosa Doran, Anne-Laure Melchior, Thomas Boudier, Pacôme Delva, Roger Ferlet, Maria L. T. Almeida, Domingos Barbosa, Edward Gomez, Carl Pennypacker, Paul Roche, Sarah Roberts