New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

New Model of Dome Sessions for the Teaching of Sciences in Planetary

Gesoaldo maia oliveira Oliveira, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra (Portugal)


A recent research in Brazil showed that about 85% of the Planetary visitors were Basic School students, led by their teachers, searching for a complement of in-school obtained poor information. In fact, school teachers in Brazil perceive Astronomy as a gap in their education. However Brazil has the largest students’ participation in IOAA – International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics and more than 775,000 students and almost 72,000 teachers attended the Brazilian Olympiad on Astronomy, OBA, 2013.

During the XV Encontro da Associação Brasileira de Planetários, Rio de Janeiro, 2010, one of the authors, GMO, interviewed 200 teachers cooperating with OBA, about their perceived role of Planetary among the possible other resources for preparing students for OBA: internet, books, magazines, audio-visuals, TV, movies, radio broadcasts, written media, education units on Astronomy, amateur astronomers, Astronomic Centres or Science Centres. Surprisingly 39% mentioned Planetary and 33% mentioned Astronomic Centres. Consequently interviewed teachers were asked about the relative importance, as a complement to their own education, of their visits to Planetary, Astronomical Centres, Science Centres or attending education units on Astronomy. About 80% mentioned education units; 15% indicated visits to Science Centres and Museums, 5% spoke about visits to Astronomical Centres and none mentioned Planetary. However, most of them mentioned a “dome session” while pre-university students and a Planetary visit during teachers education.

These answers eventually point towards default or missing activities in Planetary, designed for meaningful education and not only for disclosing information. It looks as if Planetary uses only astronomic contents, neglecting other sciences supporting it, namely Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. On the other hand, Planetary hardly run sessions for university students, devoting only to school students and neglecting teachers education.

Within the development of educational research inserted in a PhD on Teaching Sciences, branch of teaching Physics, our intention is to design “dome sessions” organized to motivate university students, especially future Physics teacher students, and to search for efficient models and methodologies of complementing the school teaching of Physics using the Planetary scientific tools available outside the school institutions.

Keywords: Activities in Planetary, Astronomy learning; non-formal education; scientific dissemination.


[1] International Planetarium Society - IPS - History of planetariums. Available in http://www.ips- Access in 04 dez 2016.
[2] Oliveira, G. M. O ensino de ciências em planetários: perspectiva interdisciplinar sobre as sessões de cúpula. Dissertação de Mestrado, UNICSUL, São Paulo, 115 f. 2010.
[3] OIAA - Olimpíada Internacional de Astronomia e Astrofísica. Available in Access in 04 dez 2016
[4] OBA - Olimpíada Brasileira de Astronomia e Astronáutica. Available in Access in 04 dez 2016
[5] Canalle, J.B.G. et al. XVI Olimpíada Brasileira de Astronomia e Astronáutica. Available in Access in 04 dez 2016.
[6] Associação Brasileira de Planetários - ABP. XV Encontro da Associação Brasileira de Planetários. Mesa redonda sobre planetários itinerantes. 19 a 23 de novembro de 2010. Available in Access in 07 jul 2016.


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