2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


JOHNSON, Roberta, RUSSELL, Randy M., LAGRAVE, Marina, GARDINER, Elizabeth, BERGMAN, Jennifer and GENYUK, Julia, Education & Outreach, Univ Corporation for Atmospheric Rsch, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, rmjohnsn@ucar.edu

Windows to the Universe (www.windows.ucar.edu) is a popular and comprehensive Earth and space science education web site. The entire Windows to the Universe site (roughly 6,000 pages) is being translated into Spanish. Large portions have already been "published" to the web and have been in use since October 2003. Web site statistics indicate that use of the Spanish portion of the site quickly ramped up to 10-20% of total site traffic, with about 90,000 visits (and 700,000 page hits) per month to the Spanish segments of the site.

Each page on the site is written at three different levels, suitable for elementary, middle, and high school or adult learners respectively. The site serves as a broad reference for topics in Earth science and space science, with an emphasis on related topics in the humanities (people in science history, mythology in astronomical nomenclature, etc.). An icon on all bilingual pages allows users to instantly switch between the English and Spanish versions of that page with a single click. This feature enables students currently learning English or Spanish to quickly switch to their stronger language when confronted with unfamiliar words or concepts. This feature facilitates the integration of science education with second language learning.

The site includes write-ups of numerous (about 90) hands-on activities for classroom or home use. Each release of a new section of site content in Spanish has included several such activities, to keep a balance between the quantity of reference materials and activities on the Spanish side of the site.

We have learned (and are continuing to learn) about dissemination to a different audience, with distinct needs and communication networks, and will share our experiences and insights. We will describe the various avenues for dissemination that we've explored (such as bilingual education organizations and web sites, local and regional advocacy groups, etc.) and the relative successes we've had with each approach.