CAPER Team - Improving Teaching Through Research
If you’re following Astronomy Education Research, there is a growing group at LinkedIn you might be interested in 

If you’re following Astronomy Education Research, there is a growing group at LinkedIn you might be interested in 

$250 stipend for #ASTRO101 Teaching Workshop attendees, Jun 11-13 in Hilo, Hawaii

CAPER Team Videos Available

The 2012 presentation schedule is (and previous recordings at are) shown below: 


8/28:  Tim Slater, University of Wyoming



9/4:  Doug Lombardi, Temple University

Conceptions About Climate Change: Using Critical Evaluation to Influence Plausibility Reappraisals and Knowledge Reconstruction



9/11:  Sharon Schleigh, Purdue University

The Nature of Science through Argumentation and Research in the Learning Sciences



9/18: Julia Plummer, Penn State

Using spatial reasoning as the dimension of progress for an astronomy learning progression

RECORDING on CAPERTeamTube:  [caution: poor sound quality]


9/25:  Stephanie Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research

Impact of a Kinesthetic Approach to Spatially Teaching Earth’s Seasons



10/2:  Michael Wittmann, University of Maine

How do we know what people think about physics?



10/9:  Michael LoPresto, Henry Ford Community College

Formative Assessments & Tutorials-A Winning Combination



10/23:  Kendra Sibbernsen, Metropolitan College

Results from a Study of Inquiry in Undergraduate Astronomy Laboratories



10/30:  Leilani Arthurs, University of Nebraska

A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Novice Conceptions about Hurricane Formation



11/6:  Sanlynn Buxner, Planetary Science Institute & University of Arizona

Studying Science Knowledge and Literacy of Teachers and Students




11/13:  Aaron Price, Chicago Museum Sci & Industry

Spatial Cognition and Stereoscopy





To join our CAPER Team e-mailing list of future opportunities to participate in research and announcements of presentations and workshops, please sign up by sending a blank email to and watch your junk spam folder for a confirmation email from YahooGroups you will need to reply to in order to sign up.



CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research



SAVE THE DATE: Announcing CAPERCon13 – June  11-13, 2013 – Hilo, Big Island, Hawai’i

Co-hosted by the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research and the PISCES Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems


CAPERCon13 – The ASTRO101 Syllabus ReDesign Institute: Revitalizing and Modernizing Your Introductory Astronomy Course to Improve Diverse Students’ Learning


CAPERCon13 – June 11-13, 2013 – Hilo, Big Island, Hawai’i


This three day, intensive syllabus-redesign institute is designed to increase professors’ awareness of how to best support diverse student groups learn and engage in astronomy.  As an advanced teaching excellence institute designed for college and university faculty with previous experience teaching non-science majors and future teachers, we’ll help one another update and reinvigorates our courses with a new awareness of diverse and non-traditional student needs, flexible teaching approaches, innovative curriculum materials, and contemporary testing and grading strategies specifically targeting a rapidly growing and widely diverse student population.  Particular attention will be given to research results on how to best serve Native American and Hawaiian indigenous students, as well as other traditionally underrepresented students including those whose first language is not English. As part of CAPERCon13, we’ll take unique advantage of our Big Island location to visit Volcanoes National Park, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the astronomical observatories near the summit of MaunaKea where we will study both the scientific and cultural importance of these sites with local experts and elders.  By the end of CAPERCon13, participants will have had the opportunity to learn and to share with one another and we will leave with a fully redesigned syllabus and teaching toolkit ready to use next semester.


CAPERCon13 is a collaborative venture coordinated by the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education and generously supported in part by WHFreeman Publishing and Pearson Publishing along with NASA ROSES, NSF GEO OEDG, and NSF DUE TUES awards.



FOR MORE CAPERCon INFORMATION:  To stay in the loop as new information becomes available, join our CAPERCon email list by sending a blank email to and watch your spam/junk mail folder for a confirmation email from YahooGroups that you need to reply to in order to join the list.  To see past CAPERCon informational announcements, check out our archive at .  If you still can’t find the information you need, email Tim Slater at or call 520-975-1373 (USA Mountain Time Zone).



Twitter HashTag  #CAPERCon13




@CAPERTeam ‘s @Slater_Steph , Tim & @ASchwortz are giving 3 talks in Atlanta for #DragonCon
Creatinge a winning #ASTRO101 distance learning course
Michael Lopresto is now DR. Michael Lopresto! A huge win for #ASTRO101!/mcl65
NITARP Apps due 9/21 to participate in K-12 Teacher - Astronomer Research Partnership (see link)
Want to come do real astronomy research with a mentor astronomer?

The application for NITARP for 2012 is now available! It’s available at our website:

Applications are due Sep 21 for a 2013 NITARP experience. The application website is *now* open to accept application uploads.

Want to know more about NITARP? There is a 3-minute video on our website or on YouTube, featuring real students and educators talking about their NITARP experience:

More information:

NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. We partner small groups of educators with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The program runs January through January. Applications are available now and due on September 21.

***Please note that there is a new page limit this year for applications!***

This program, to the best of our knowledge, is completely unique in the following important ways: (1) each team does original research using real astronomical data, not canned labs or reproductions of previously done research; (2) each team is encouraged to involved students throughout the process; (3) each team writes up the results of their research and presents it at an American Astronomical Society meeting (the AAS is the professional organization for astronomers in the US). Each team also presents the educational results of their experience in the program.

Most, but not all, of our educators are grade 8-13, but informal educators have participated as well.  The kinds of educators we are looking for are those who already know the basics of astronomy, and are interested in learning exactly how astronomy research is conducted.

Please pass this along to your colleagues and friends who might be interested in applying.

For more information, please see our website (, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Louisa at our central email,

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.Tim & @Slater_Steph presenting “Invisible IR Universe” at Baltimore SciFy @ShoreLeaveCon Noon Saturday.
.Tim & @Slater_Steph presenting “What if StarFleet Ran K-12 Schools” at Baltimore SciFy @ShoreLeaveCon 8pm Friday
Come along! We’re cruising w/ SciFy author @DavidBrin1 for the NOT The End of the World Cruise
Looking to share a cabin on the nerdalicious not-the-end-of-the-world-cruise? Check out:
Tim & @Slater_Steph speaking at Charles Stuart University today
What are Backwards Faded Scaffolding labs anyway? Find out at ANU #CONASTA from Tim & Stephanie Slater at 1120 in LT5