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Using Modeling-Based Inquiry in the Virtual Solar System

, , , University of Georgia, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-48-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


The teaching and learning of science has been changed by a push towards inquiry-based pedagogies. The process of inquiry is flexible and can be adapted to the study of any scientific topic. The use of computer models as aids has been an especially positive addition to the teaching of scientific topics, as it has in scientific research, that are abstract and impossible to directly manipulate, such as astronomy. This paper presents a new version of inquiry-based learning called modeling-based inquiry as a pedagogy that uniquely fosters learning of complex scientific concepts. Modeling-based inquiry emphasizes the creation and manipulation of computer based models by students as they answer authentic scientific questions. The Virtual Solar System project is based on a new three-dimensional modeling tools that enables learners to engage in modeling-based inquiry by constructing three-dimensional, dynamic models of the solar system to answer fundamental questions in astronomy.


Tsurusaki, B., Amiel, T. & Hay, K. (2003). Using Modeling-Based Inquiry in the Virtual Solar System. In D. Lassner & C. McNaught (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2003--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2237-2240). Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved October 14, 2019 from .



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