The editors of ScientificAmerican.com have chosen Amazing Space for their 2005 Science & Technology Web Award. Amazing Space was one of twenty-five outstanding science websites selected for this annual award. “Students of all ages can while away light-years pelting comets at Jupiter, falling into black holes and building the Milky Way piece by piece. The greatest findings of the Hubble Space Telescope are made vivid and interactive and learning astronomy has never been so engrossingly fun,” the editors said.
Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S and has been bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 150 years.
The Amazing Space website has been selected as an outstanding Web resource for classroom teachers by SciLINKS, an organization sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association.
NSTA’s SciLINKS creates connections between science textbooks and useful online content. By using textbooks as a portal to good online content, more teachers and students can be reached than is possible with a search engine or Web site listings. Most students (90% to 95%) learn science through the pages of a textbook.
When a reader of a SciLINKed textbook comes across a SciLINKS icon, they know that the content on that page has been enhanced with online content specifically connected to a single concept.
Teams of classroom teachers reviewed and selected Amazing Space’s website using a stringent set of criteria based upon accurate content and effective pedagogy. The Amazing Space URL was placed into a database that correlates it with National Science Education Standards and provides a brief description of the site.
Textbook publishers that currently contain SciLINKS online Web resources include Harcourt, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and the Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
ViewSpace is a popular and growing network of self-updating multimedia exhibits. It portrays the beauty and wonder of the universe and our blue planet, using digital imagery, visualizations, and interpretative captions.
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) awarded ViewSpace the bronze MUSE award as part of its annual recognition of excellent media programs produced by or for museums.
MUSE awards are given for excellence in the use of media and technology for interpretation and education in science.
ViewSpace, a network of self-updating multimedia exhibits also existed as "SkyWatch." The SkyWatch brand was used specifically for nature centers that interpret the night sky for its visitors. During this period, ViewSpace received the Interpretive Media Award from the National Association for Interpretation (NAI).
NAI awards are given for excellence in the delivery of natural, cultural, and historical nonpersonal interpretive services.
The Amazing Space website was recognized for excellence by the American Library Association (ALA), which selected it for inclusion in the ALA's "Great Websites for Kids," in 2008.
Great Websites for Kids are select sites that are identified and evaluated by a committee of librarians, and are recognized for being outstanding in both content and conception. According to committee co-chair, Karen Lemmons, recognized websites are those of especially commendable quality that reflect and encourage young people’s interests in exemplary ways.
Founded in 1876, the ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world. It provides association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for its approximately 64,600 members, librarians, and library users worldwide.
Amazing Space’s “Telescopes From the Ground Up” was recognized by "Best of the Web" (BOTW), in 2009. In order to be included in Best of the Web's listings, a site must adhere to the strict criteria of BOTW editors, who ensure that sites contain “substantive unique content, navigate in a user-friendly manner, contain no broken links or pictures, and conform to universally accepted Web standards.” In this way, only quality sites are added to Best of the Web. Best of the Web is the internet’s oldest search directory and includes a comprehensive list of “categorized, content-rich, and well designed websites.”
Amazing Space received the 4Teachers.org "Website of the Week" award, in 2007. Specifically, Amazing Space was recognized for having a variety of resources to support learning, such as content reading materials, images, and homework help. 4Teachers.org works to assist educators with integrating technology into their classrooms by offering free online tools and resources. 4Teachers.org is a part of the Advanced Learning Technologies Network (ALTEC) at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. ALTEC supports over 20 million users a month with Web-based instructional resources, professional development, and program support.
"Teaching Pre K–8" Magazine's "Technology in the Classroom" Award
"Teaching Pre K–8" Magazine awarded Amazing Space its "Hot Websites for Technology in the Classroom" award, in 2006. Amazing Space was described by the magazine as having interactive lessons that support scaffolded learning experiences, as well as extensive background materials for educators. Teaching Pre K-8 Magazine recently ceased publication. For 41 years, it was a professional magazine for educators of grades K–8 that was widely used within the education community and was known for presenting proven instructional techniques, ideas, and activities in all curriculum areas.
ClickSchooling Website Award
Amazing Space received the "ClickSchooling Website Award" in 2007. ClickSchooling, a Web-based organization, provides daily reviews of outstanding educational websites to over 8,000 users, including educators, homeschoolers, and families.
ClickSchooling is produced by a larger organization known as Homefires.com, The Journal of Homeschooling Online. Amazing Space was described as “a great site” not only for classroom learners but for “those who learn outside the classroom.”
The Webby Awards has selected Amazing Space as a “Webby Worthy Selection” for 2005. Of the more than 4,000 entries submitted to the 9th Annual Webby Awards, fewer than 20% were deemed Webby Worthy. This honor signifies an outstanding caliber of work. The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence in Web design, creativity, usability, and functionality. Established in 1996 during the Web's infancy, the Webbys are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries, and creative celebrities.
The Amazing Space website is a multiple awardee of the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education (ENC), Digital Dozen Award (DD). Each month, staff from ENC select 12 high quality mathematics and science websites to feature on ENC Online. These 12 sites, the Digital Dozen, are selected by a team with math, science, education, and Web publishing expertise. To be selected for Digital Dozen, sites must exhibit many of the qualities listed below:
Digital Dozen Award Criteria
- Content and Pedagogy: Content is accurate, current, without major omissions. Supportive of national and state reform efforts. Lack of stereotyping, bias, and social inequity. Authorship is evident; viewpoint or perspective of sponsoring organization is obvious. Content is original or unique, with citations to referenced works and bibliographies or references for further research.
- Audience Usefulness and Engagement: Saves teachers’ time by gathering information in one place or in unique context. Teaching activities or supporting information assist teachers in using site or referenced materials. Language and visuals on site are appropriate and attractive for intended audience, whether it is students of particular ages or educators in particular situations. Provides useful information for teachers' professional growth. Themes and content of site are appropriate for the time of year they will be featured.
- Functionality and Navigation: Most links are working within a site, particularly internal links. Load time is reasonably fast and would not hamper site's use by educators. Always accessible. Appears to be maintained and updated periodically. Well-organized with meaningful labels. Finding features within the site is not difficult.
- Use of Web Technology and Design: Graphics have purpose and meaning. Interactive or multimedia features support the content of site. Contents are appropriate presented through this medium, either because of the way material is presented or because they would not be easily or widely accessed through other media. Links to other sites are purposeful and supportive of content of the site. Encourages collaboration across time and/or space or the use of real data.
The Amazing Space website is a multiple awardee of the Exploratorium’s 10 Cool Astronomy Award Sites. In describing Amazing Space, the award pointed out that students can use these Web-based activities to learn about the solar system, train to be a scientist, follow a star's life cycle, and much more. Teachers can click on “For Educators and Developers" to access interactive activities, science-content reading selections, and answers to astronomy basics. A featured part of the website, “Online Explorations”, was described as a fun, interactive way to explore galaxies, black holes, comets, and other fascinating objects.
The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. It is one of the first science museums to build a site on the World Wide Web. Over 15 million Web users annually access the Exploratorium Web site making it one of the most visited museum websites in the world.
The Amazing Space website is a multiple awardee of the Griffith Observatory Star Award. The exclusive Star Award is presented once each week to a deserving site to recognize excellence in websites that promote public awareness of astronomy. These are the best astronomy sites on the Web, and they present useful, thorough, and accurate information in a well-organized and attractive way, making the sky more accessible to the public.
The Griffith Observatory has been a major Los Angeles landmark since 1935. It is visited by nearly two million people each year and ranks seventh on the list of major tourist attractions of Southern California.
The Amazing Space website has received the highest grade, an A+, from EducationWorld.com, one of the top online education Web sites. EducationWorld.com is a major resource that has been available to educators since 1996. It is a recognized Web site that helps educators use the Internet to find lesson plans, research materials, information on how to integrate technology in the classroom, site reviews, and articles written by education experts. In its October review, EducationWorld described Amazing Space as “… attractive, colorful, and engaging. Amazing Space lives up to its name! Students from kindergarten to high school are sure to love the fun and interactive activities offered on this site and will learn lots doing them.”
Classroom Connect's "Library Hot Five" Award
The Amazing Space website has been selected by Classroom Connect's team of Cybrarians as a featured site in the "Library Hot Five." This free resource appears once a week as both a subscriber listserv and as part of Connected Teacher's A+ Web Links at http://www.connectedteacher.com/library/hotFive.asp.
Classroom Connect's experts choose a theme for the week and review their carefully researched library of top-rated educational websites. They highlight the five sites they feel best match the theme. (Frequently, a bonus site is also offered.) Each "Library Hot Five" selection includes a brief description and a hyperlink to the site.
Classroom Connect is dedicated to helping teachers create memorable learning experiences in the K-12 classroom. Their award-winning online curriculum materials and adventure learning expeditions motivate and engage students. Additionally, their professional development services and online teacher communities give teachers a friendly place to go to learn from others and be inspired.
The Amazing Space website received a 5-star rating from Pacific Bell’s Knowledge Network Explorer "Blue Web'n" Award site, a library of "Blue Ribbon" sites on the Web. That site is now part of AT&T's "Filamentality" hotlists, which cite outstanding Internet sites and categorize them by subject, grade level, and format (i.e., lessons, activities, projects, resources, references, or tools).
NASA Spacelink Cool Picks
The Amazing Space website was chosen as a Cool Pick by NASA Spacelink. Spacelink Cool Picks are a collection of intriguing and educational NASA materials and sites.
The Amazing Space website was given a 5-star “Spectacular” rating by Surfing the Net with Kids, a list of the best space sites for kids, teachers, and families, from the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.
Berit’s Best Sites for Children
The Amazing Space website was given a 5/5 rating by Berit's Best Sites for Children. Berit’s is a directory of recommended sites for children up to age 12. Berit’s has taken great care to choose high quality sites that are safe, fun and educational. Berit’s has found many gems that children will find interesting.
Space Careers' Space Site of the Week
The Amazing Space website was featured as a "Space Site of the Week" by Space Careers. Space Careers is an independent multi-faceted consultancy specializing in the space markets.
"Hubble: Galaxies Across Space and Time" is a 3-minute, IMAX Super Short that sends viewers on a mesmerizing flight into the early universe. The film makes genuine astronomical research data approachable for viewers and was awarded "Best Short Feature" in the Large Format Cinema Association's Film Festival (LFCA). The LFCA is now the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA).