What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that WorldWide Telescope provides an interactive and deeply complex window into the universe. It's basically a curated collection of the best astronomical data and imagery from telescopes, observatories, and scientists all over the globe. With so much information at the users' fingertips and a less than ideal interface, it's easy to get overwhelmed. So plan on spending time helping younger kids get oriented to using the tool.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- collecting data
- asking questions
Engagement, Approach, Support
The content is absorbing, but it's accessed through a less than ideal interface.
Between tours that walk you through the stars and access to hard data and images, this resource is a treasure trove for learning.
There's a basic FAQ and online help guide, a selection of tours to guide exploration, and curriculum for middle and high school teachers. Still, it'll take some fiddling to get used to the tool.
What's it about?
WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE provides an atlas of the known universe drawing on stunning data from telescopes, observatories, and research labs all over the world. Prerecorded tours fly the viewer through the cosmos, acting as a tour guide to the universe's greatest hits and highlights. Outside of the tours, kids can use WorldWide Telescope as an interactive, desktop planetarium, journeying into the infinite expanses in the sky and getting unprecedented access to astronomical imagery and information from top scientists.
Is it any good?
As a tool, WorldWide Telescope is nothing short of awe inspiring -- although it might overwhelm initially. The ability to zoom down to the street level on Earth, and then blast millions of light years through space to view a spinning nebula makes it a powerful resource for understanding astronomy and our place in the universe. With a click of the mouse, images of celestial bodies provides a wealth of data that illuminates the glittering objects we see in the sky. Kids can wrestle with the almost incomprehensible distances that make up the universe or just admire the beauty of distant star systems; either way, WorldWide Telescope provides a resource perfect for anyone who desires a better understanding of life beyond the planet Earth.
Families can talk about...
Families can use the Earth viewer to find their home towns, streets and even houses!
Families can follow up exploration of WorldWide Telescope with a trip to the planetarium to see the stars on the big screen.
Fly over the topography of Mars, and then explore NASA's Mars rover site to see the latest images and news from the planet's surface.