SkyServer: Education with SDSS Data
Since 2001, the SDSS team at Johns Hopkins University has provided access to the full archive of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey for students, teachers, and the public.
Learning Science with SDSS
In addition to these easy-to-use tools, the SDSS team at JHU worked with several educators nationwide - from fourth grade through graduate-level seminar instructors - to create a series of Educational Projects to teach astronomy and other sciences using SDSS data. Each project centers around open-ended exploration of SDSS data to learn concepts in astronomy, physics, and other sciences.
Projects are divided into three levels:
All projects have complete Teacher Guides, which include sample solutions, links to additional scientific background, and correlations to Project 2061 national science standards.
SkyServer educational projects have been used by thousands of instructors all over the world, from elementary school science classes through graduate-level astronomy courses.
Accessing the Data
Making SDSS data useful to educators and the public requires creating data access tools tailored to their needs. That process began as soon as the team began creating SkyServer. The team worked with students, teachers, and amateur astronomers to design tools that would be easy to use, intuitive, and fun for these audiences. For example, the Quick Look tool shows a simplified view of data for any star or galaxy, and the Search Form tool allows users to search the SDSS database by selecting options from menus.