CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research
Improving Teaching and Learning Through Research


CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research

CAPERCon15 – The ASTRO101 Syllabus ReDesign Institute: Revitalizing and Modernizing Your Introductory Astronomy Course to Improve Diverse Students’ Learning

CAPERCon15 – Early August, 2015 – Hilo, Big Island, Hawai’i
Co-hosted by the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research and 'Imiloa Astronomy Center

This three day, intensive syllabus-redesign institute is designed to increase professors’ awareness of how to best support diverse student groups learn and engage in astronomy and the geosciences. As an advanced teaching excellence institute designed for college and university faculty with previous experience teaching non-science majors and future teachers, we’ll help one another update and reinvigorates our courses with a new awareness of diverse and non-traditional student needs, flexible teaching approaches, and innovative curriculum materials specifically targeting a rapidly growing and widely diverse student population. Particular attention will be given to research results on how to best serve Native American and Hawaiian indigenous students, as well as other traditionally underrepresented students including those whose first language is not English. As part of CAPERCon15, we’ll take unique advantage of our Big Island location to visit Volcano National Park, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the astronomical observatories near the summit of Maunakea where we will study both the scientific and cultural importance of these sites with local experts and cultural elders. By the end of CAPERCon15, participants will have had the opportunity to learn and to share with one another and we will leave with a fully redesigned syllabus and teaching toolkit ready to use next semester.


MONDAY:  Opening reception, 6pm

TUESDAY:  Building ownership in learning among students using scientific data
GUIDED TOUR:  Observatories and Hawaiian Culture near the Summit of MaunaKea

WEDNESDAY:  Engaging students through interactive lectures
GUIDED TOUR:  'Imiloa Astronomy Center and Introduction to Polynesian Navigation and Wayfinding

THURSDAY:  Rebuilding your syllabus targeting individualized learning
GUIDED TOUR:  Volcano National Park and Cultural Practices Respecting Nature

Presenters include: Tim & Stephanie Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research; Koa Rice, CAPER; Rick Pomeroy, University of California-Davis; Debby Stork, University of Dubuque; Sophia Marshall, Tougaloo College, Mississippi; Sharon Schleigh, Purdue Calumet; Ahia Dye & Kalepa Babayan, 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, among others

CAPERCon15 is a collaborative venture coordinated by the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education and generously supported in part by WHFreeman Publishing and Pearson Publishing along with NASA ROSES, NSF GEO OEDG, and NSF DUE TUES awards.

TO REGISTER: When available, find the [to sign up for] links on our WORKSHOPS page at

: To stay in the loop as new information becomes available, join our CAPERCon email list by sending a blank email to and watch your spam/junk mail folder for a confirmation email from YahooGroups that you need to reply to in order to join the list. To see past CAPERCon informational announcements, check out our archive at . If you still can’t find the information you need, email Tim Slater at or call 520-975-1373 (USA Mountain Time Zone).

Twitter HashTag #CAPERCon15


Website Builder