Website Evaluation – NASA Space Place

SpacePlace

NASA Space Place an extensive site sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) program designed to support students and teachers in areas related to Science and Technology. The site includes articles, activities, a glossary and interactive books covering topics related to the solar system and earth science.

Pros

  • The website is visually engaging and kid friendly. It looks approachable and includes many text features to support navigation.
  • There are games, crafts and activities for students to explore.
  • The site includes many engaging animations and video clips.
  • The navigation is supported by questioning and inquiry led prompts.
  • The entire website is viewable in Spanish.
  • The information is published by a reliable source (NASA) and is updated regularly. This is especially important in science, because current research changes rapidly.
  • Space Place covers a wealth of information, allowing for students to follow personal interests and to dig deep in related content.
  • The site includes specialized information and downloads for educators.

Cons

The reading level is advance, and includes challenging vocabulary. That said, the text is support with engaging graphics and a glossary, but more could be done to support users.

Things to Think About

  • Teachers will want to preteach some key vocabulary and may consider pairing struggling readers with peer buddies.
  • The site could improve its accessibility by making modifications to assist students with a more limited reading ability. Illustrations and models could be added to the glossary as well as an audio function, allowing students to have the text read aloud. This adaptation would allow the site to appeal to a much wider audience.
  • Overall, NASA Space Place is a valuable tool to improve science instruction.

 

 

Image from Unsplash seth schwiet

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