Speaker: Julia Plummer

This video is also available for viewing on YouTube.

Dr. Julia Plummer, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Julia Plummer has spent more than a decade teaching children and adults in planetariums and other informal settings. She has extensive experience teaching college-level introductory astronomy and science methods for pre-service elementary teachers.

Julia received a combined Ph.D. in Astronomy & Education from the University of Michigan in 2006 and attended the 2005 GLPA conference in Grand Rapids as a student. She was a teaching associate in graduate school, and also worked under Matt Linke at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum Planetarium, where so many prominent planetarians got their start.

Her research focuses on how children and adults engage in astronomical scientific practices. This, and other research, has been published in highly regarded science education journals, such as the Journal for Research in Science Teaching, Studies in Science Education, and the International Journal of Science Education as well as Science Scope and The Planetarian.

She is involved in two NSF-funded astronomy education research projects: My Sky Tonight: Early Childhood Pathways to Astronomy, which focuses on the support of informal educators engaging young children in astronomy and Thinking Spatially about the Universe: A Physical and Virtual Laboratory for Middle School Science, a three-year interactive curriculum development and research project. Julia is also a senior researcher on the NSF-funded Earth and Space Science Partnership, supporting her research into how middle school, high school, and college students learn to engage in astronomy practices as well as serving on the Education Committee for IPS.

ABSTRACT: The Next Generation Science Standards, and other policy documents for K-12 science learning, look beyond a focus on the content of science to include the practices of how scientists perform science. This talk will present promising evidence of the potential planetariums have in contributing to students’ engagement in science practices by sharing research conducted on what elementary students learned through a combination of planetarium field trips and classroom lessons.