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A Study of Applying a 3D Instructional Software of Popular Science (Science On a Sphere Explorer) in Earth Science Education of an Elementary School

Abstract

The increasing popularization of information technology has gradually overcome the difficulties of educating earth science gradually. In the times of having only textbooks, we merely had 2D maps for references to educate earth science. However, it was known that the earth was round, but it was hard for students to understand flows of ocean currents, atmospheric flows, ship movements, or directions of typhoons from those 2D maps. Nevertheless, the development of information technology and computers had solved these problems. For instance, we could use software to simulate flight of airplanes, navigation direction of ships, and moving route of cars. Based on the evolvements of these computer technologies, our lab considered using 3D visual effects to display the earth and educate earth science; consequently, we designed the software “Science On a Sphere Explorer.” In it, we have integrated several hundreds of environmental science data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and utilized 3D visual effects to educate earth science. In this study, the authors introduce the software and describe the instructional outcomes.

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