Using tangible interactions to teach astronomical phenomenon

One of the project I bumped into this afternoon: Smart Planets is a project that aims at enhancing the teaching of astronomical phenomenons like eclipses and motions using tangible interactions. It's a project carried out by Bjorn Eisen, Marc Jansen and UlrichHoppe.

Usually, the teacher takes different objects and whirls around with these. We provide Smart Planets, which consists of a polyfoam ball and an RF-ID Tag, which looks like a planet, but they can be used as an entrance into the virtual world. In virtuality, the Smart Planets can be animated with two different animation models according to the helio- and geo-centric view of universe. The shadows are also shown to allow for the examination of eclipse phenomena. With the help of Smart Planets the students can design their universe and can have an enriched view of it.

Why do I blog this? I like the project (not because I am crazy of poly/styrofoam) but because I finf interesting to embed such interactions.