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Information Analytics and Visualization

Enhancing STEM Education through 3D Vision Technology


This research-in-progress investigates how the usage of technology, specifically three dimensional (3D) stereoscopic vision, might support astronomy learning in primary grades. 3D stereoscopic vision might be an effective means to observe the relationships among space objects through simulations. In order to explore this presumption, this pilot study examines how 3D stereoscopic vision might enhance urban second graders’ understanding of a) the shape of Sun, Moon, and Earth, b) how day and night alternate, and c) how Moon appears in different shapes. Currently, Indiana state standards for science do not suggest the teaching of these astronomical concepts explicitly before fourth grade. We project that students can learn these concepts earlier in their educational lives with the implementation of these new technologies. These technologies might challenge our views of when astronomical concepts could be taught to children and expand the ways we think about children’s cognitive capacities in understanding scientific concepts.


  • Dr. Zeynep Isik-Ercan
  • Dr. Jeffrey Nowak
  • Dmytro Podgorniy
  • Benjamin Aeschliman
  • Dr. Beomjin Kim



This project is partially supported by Allen County Education Partnership / ITT Excellence in Education Award Program and NVIDIA Professor Partnership Grant. Award Amount: $8,000 and about $1,000 worth of research equipment.


Related Publications:
  • Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Beomjin Kim, Jeffrey Nowak, “Can 3D Visualization assist in young children’s understanding of Sun-Earth-Moon system?” International Journal of Knowledge Society Research, IGI Global, 3(4), pp 12-21, 2012.
  • Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Hatice Zeynep Inan, Jeffrey A. Nowak, Beomjin Kim, “We put on the glasses and Moon comes closer!’ Urban Second Graders Exploring the Earth, the Sun and Moon Through 3D Technologies in a Science and Literacy Unit,” International Journal of Science Education, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1-28, 2012.
  • Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Beomjin Kim, Jeffrey A. Nowak, “3D Visualization in Elementary Education Astronomy: Teaching Urban Second Graders about Sun, Earth, and the Moon,” Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS), Springer-Verlag, Part I, Vol. 111, pp. 500-505, (2010).