This past summer, ASU Preparatory Academy was selected by NASA eClips and the ASU Center for Education Through eXploration (ETX Center) to debunk common moon misconceptions. Six ASU Prep students were assembled and divided into two teams to complete the project.
The project allowed students to meet up both in person and virtually, giving them the opportunity to collaborate on campus and utilize ASU resources.
One team was tasked with disproving the common misconception that the moon does not rotate, resulting in us always seeing the same side:
The other team was tasked with the common misconception that the phases of the moon are caused by shadows cast on its surface by other objects in the solar system:
Using scientific knowledge, the two groups made videos to teach the correct science and ultimately debunk the misconceptions. Over the course of the project, students learned how to create a narrative, develop a storyboard, film segments, do voice-overs, and create descriptions of their scenes. The descriptions were coded and fed into SkySkan, a program that brings images to life and animates the provided descriptions.
With any project, there are bound to be obstacles to overcome.
“For a lot of the time the video was in production, the entire team was spread all over the country and editing together was a little difficult without in-person talks,” Max Gao, ASU Prep Digital senior, said.
But our students have the ability to persevere and make the best out of any situation.
“Despite all of those setbacks, we had a ton of support from mentors and great team members that really carried the project through to its awesome state,” Gao said.
And for one student, the experience was more than just a fun project.
“My greatest wish is that the project never ended,” Aza Tyszkowski, ASU Prep Digital sophomore, said. “If nothing else, it solidified my love of science and science communication!”