How I Use It
I use Galaxy Zoo as the focus for writing and vocabulary development lessons. I work with 3rd grade students and have found that due to their high interest in the subject area, they are willing to take the time to learn the specific vocabulary even if they are struggling readers. Once the vocabulary is learned, it repeats, which provides a real-world context for practice.
This is a fantastic site. It is not something that is, by itself, a teaching tool, especially not for elementary students. It's value is in the real content taking from long-range telescopes. The students are viewing distant galaxies that haven't even been names yet. They learn terms to assist with classification. It gives them a first-hand sense of just how much data there is on the multitude of galaxies that we can now see with advanced technology. I certainly think middle school and high school students could use this as a research tool/learning tool as well. There is a fair amount of text content, but it is at a level that needs teacher assistance to be accessed in third grade.