The goal of the VAO formal education program is to provide educators with a way to help teach
STEM-based concepts via curriculum support tools that use real astronomical data and are aligned with
national standards and benchmarks. The education resources of the VAO are ideally suited to help
educators teach the STEM subjects.
The VAO formal education program relies on using the existing VAO infrastructure, computers,
and state-of-the-art internet networks to elucidate scientific concepts. We are providing a resource
to educators and their students where hands-on learning using real astronomical data from the world's most
powerful telescopes is free and readily accessible.
WorldWide Telescope in VAO Education
Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope (WWT) provides free
access to visualization software that allows anyone to access astronomical images from the most powerful
ground- and space-based telescopes. The VAO is partnering with WWT and the WWT Ambassadors program to
bring formal education materials into the classroom.
We have available select materials from an educator
workshop given in Austin, Texas, in January 2012. These materials give educators basic instructions
on how to use the WWT to teach standards-based STEM subjects at the middle school and high school levels.