Using Gizmos in Los Fresnos CISD to learn about eclipses

Today students at Los Fresnos High School used the 3D Eclipse Gizmo in their astronomy class to get ready for the Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21. Los Fresnos CISD is a small school district in South Texas. High school science teachers in the district have used Gizmos for several years.

“I typically use Gizmos to start off a unit because it is an interactive way for my students to learn,” said Mr. Brent Blackman, an astronomy teacher at the high school. He uses Gizmos as the engage portion of his lesson plan cycle. He used the 3D eclipse Gizmo today, and will have his students make DIY solar boxes from recycled materials on Friday. He also ordered solar viewing glasses for his astronomy students so they can view the eclipse live on Monday during class time.

Louie, a senior in Mr. Blackman’s class said, “Gizmos give a real world example of something that you might otherwise learn on paper. They are interactive simulations on certain science topics that help you retain the information.” David, also a senior at Los Fresnos High School explained that Gizmos, “help give insight on what you may not be able to experience in a typical classroom setting.” Both David and Louie used Gizmos last year in their physics classes as well.

This year, Mr. Blackman also plans on using Phases of the Moon, Tides, and Gizmos related to the seasons, planets, and stars which align with his curriculum.