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GalaxyGoo Mission and Approach

GalaxyGoo is revving up for the next level. As part of this, I’ve been working on an important document that’s currently named “GalaxyGoo Goals and Accomplishments”. Here is a portion of the current version:

Primary Mission: to increase science literacy of students and general public.

Approach: Develop learning tools that can be used in classroom or informal learning settings, and online. By using web technologies, we can produce materials that are inexpensive to deliver and to use. We want to supplement curriculum materials already available, project-based activities whenever possible. Software that allows teachers to generate printed resources, that are inexpensive to print out and copy.

Why general public, and not just kids? Our society faces important decisions right now. Decisions that require, at the minimum, an understanding of what the scientific process is. We also believe that the path to science literacy is a family activity. From reading books to your children, to exploring the importance of biodiversity, adults need to take responsibility for their own lifelong education, and to share this with each other and the children in their lives.

Why Flash? We use Flash for many of our online projects. We prefer it over javaScript (or AJAX) because of it’s cross-platform compatibility. With javaScript, we would be dependent on the way different browsers (and every new browser yet to come) interprets the javaScript language. Instead of spending the time and money writing several different versions of the javaScript code, we prefer to write it once and let the Flash player engineering team debug cross-platform and cross-browser issues. In addition to the coding issues, Flash has several features that make it useful...graphics, video, …

Project maintenance and Open Source. We maintain source files for our projects, so that they can be updated again and again. Technology changes, and our work is important enough to keep operational as our technical ecosystem changes. When feasible, we publish the source code of our projects, as open source, an freely available to other developers. Why? Because we want our work to grow and evolve.