WorldWide Telescope events and installations bring stars to life for children

Thanks to Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope (WWT), anyone can see the night sky in all its glory. Last fall, Microsoft Research helped bring the excitement of astronomy to Asian schoolchildren with the installation of a WWT-driven planetarium at the Shixinlu primary school in China and family events at Miraikan, Japan’s national science museum in Tokyo.

The China installation enables students to see and study the stars and the universe in an immersive planetarium setting, and allows them to create their own tours of the heavens, which are then displayed on the planetarium dome. Microsoft Research Asia has also provided WWT training for Chinese teachers since 2010. These teachers bring what they have learned back to the classroom, setting up interactive, multimedia courses that use WWT to teach about the stars and planets.

In Japan, children and parents learned how to use the WWT program on Windows 8-based laptops. The families also saw an original WWT tour about the journey of NASA’s Voyager spacecraft from Earth to Neptune past Jupiter and Saturn, and the development of the telescope.

“Microsoft Research Asia has always endeavored to bring science to the general public,” says Tim Pan, Microsoft Research Asia’s university relations director. “We see Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope technology as an ideal tool for public science education in Asia — opening the door to the vast, mysterious universe.”

To find out more about WWT’s efforts to educate children about astronomy, head over to the Microsoft Research Connections Blog.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff