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UAF Releases Educational Aurora CDROM

Submitted by Vicki Daniels
Phone: (907) 474-5823


An educational, interactive CDROM describing the colorful and dynamic phenomenon of the aurora was released for sale recently by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, the international leader in aurora research for more than 50 years.

The Aurora Alive CDROM contains vibrant movies of the aurora, interactive graphics, colorful animations, easy mouse-click navigation, and voice-over text that make science concepts easy to understand for all ages and learning styles. The CDROM also contains artwork by the renowned artist Rie Muņoz.

Field tests of Aurora Alive were so successful, it is now mandatory middle-school curriculum in Alaska's Northwest Arctic Borough School District. The Smithsonian Institution and the Japanese Museum of Space Science have asked to display the CDROM in interactive exhibits.

Aurora Alive teaches the physics and mathematics of the aurora and explores Native legends and "ways of knowing," creating a vital and unique learning tool enjoyable for both educators and the general public. The CDROM was designed through a collaboration of Alaska teachers, Native Elders and aurora physicists at the Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center. A supplemental, spiral-bound Teachers Manual containing hands-on lessons for the home school or classroom also is available. The comprehensive manual includes teacher instructions, student worksheets, and materials lists for more than 50 hands-on lessons. Science and math activities involve experiments, history, language arts, music, art, and games in a well-rounded curriculum.

Proceeds from sales of the Aurora Alive CDROM and Teachers Manual will help provide the curriculum to Alaska schools. Current outlets selling the CDROM include the UA Museum, Pike's Waterfront Lodge gift shop and other local vendors, Arbor Scientific, the UAF Bookstore, and the Geophysical Institute Map Office and GeoData Center. For more information, contact Education Outreach Coordinator Glenda Findlay at (907) 474-2722 or Public Relations Specialist Vicki Daniels at (907) 474-5823.