Integrating Geoscience Research in Primary and Secondary Education
The Monitoring Seasons Through Global Learning Communities project, also known as Seasons and Biomes, engages primary and secondary students in earth system and environmental science research in the learning of science in schools. The overall goal of this inquiry- and project-based International Polar Year (IPY) project is to increase precollege students’ understanding of the earth system. This project brings together students, educators, communities, and scientists in locally and globally relevant studies and provides opportunities for students to participate in IPY activities during and beyond the fourth IPY and to contribute to earth science studies. Seasons and Biomes primary approach is through teacher professional development (PD) workshops. We developed a PD workshop model that combines earth system science content, measurement protocols, a student scientific investigation model, and best teaching practices. We conducted regional, national, and international PD workshops for educators and scientists who in turn teach their students and/or train other teachers/trainers. More than 1,400 teachers and trainers in 50 countries have participated in Seasons and Biomes PD workshops, reaching more than 21,000 students. Students also participated in global learning community projects such as Pole-to-Pole Videoconferences, the Ice e-Mystery Polar e-Book project, GS-Pals (school to school across countries, web-based discussions and collaborations facilitated by GLOBE Alumni), and Mt. Kilimanjaro expeditions (mountain trek and virtual journey). Integrating geoscience research in precollege schools has resulted in numerous student research projects as well as data contributions to ongoing studies of the earth system. Additionally, project evaluation results and evidence submitted by teachers on student learning suggest high program implementation and understanding of earth system science and the science process.
KeywordsStudent Understanding Teacher Professional Development National Science Education Standard Vegetation Phenology Professional Development Workshop
This chapter is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant Numbers. GEO-0627941 (GLOBE Seasons and Biomes), OIA-1208927 (Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments), ARC-0806465 (ARCSS-Thermokarst project), DEB 1026415 (BNZ LTER: Regional Consequences of Changing Climate-Disturbance Interactions). The opinions expressed in this chapter are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the NSF. We acknowledge Jessica Robin, Elissa Levine, David Verbyla, Martin Jeffries, Margaret “Peggy” LeMone, Gary Randolph, Martos Hoffman, Mark Brettenny, and Michael O’Toole for their contributions to the project. We also acknowledge the support provided by the International Arctic Research Center, the Alaska EPSCOR Program and the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the GLOBE Program Office, GLOBE Thailand, the Institute for the Promotion of Science and Technology in Thailand, GLOBE Estonia, the US Embassy in Estonia, GLOBE Norway, GLOBE Africa, GLOBE South Africa, GLOBE Belgium, GLOBE Croatia, GLOBE Czech Republic, GLOBE Tanzania, GLOBE Argentina, and GLOBE Germany.
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