One important part of the DLESE outreach effort is to spread the word about DLESE to teachers and students around the country. Initial efforts have focused on presentations and workshops at major education and geoscience conferences, such as those sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association, the Geological Society of America, and the American Meteorological Society. However, it was quickly determined that more teachers, and consequently students, would be reached through outreach efforts at the state and local level.
In order to promote a DLESE presence at the local and state level The DLESE Community Services Center has created the DLESE K-12 Ambassador program. Ambassadors are instructed in how to give a clear and consistent message on
- what DLESE is,
- how does one access resources within the library, and
- why use DLESE as the main source for discovering resources that support the teaching of, and learning about, the Earth as a system.
Ambassadors are presented with strategies and resources that support outreach messages to teachers in either computer labs connected to the Internet or as PowerPoint presentations in meeting rooms. To help facilitate the retention of the DLESE message K-12 Ambassadors can request a variety of handout materials to give to their workshop participants. These include a poster suitable for classroom and/or library use, DLESE brochures, business cards personalized for each K-12 Ambassador, notepads and more.
A freestanding DLESE banner is also available to K-12 Ambassadors. This 80 inch tall and 36 inch wide banner can be used as a backdrop in support of a presentation or in association with a booth. (click on the image to obtain a larger version)
There are two different strategies for approaching the K-12 Ambassador outreach. The first is identify and train at least one person in each state to make at least one presentation in each state science education conference. Ambassadors are encouraged to offer multiple presentations that target different potential user audiences (as appropriate for the conference). These might include elementary teachers, high school science teachers, middle school geography teachers, libraries, and administrators.
In several states with large student populations the goal is to create larger K-12 Ambassador teams, of 8-12 people each. One reason is that a single person is not easily able to serve large geographical areas and populations. A core of K-12 Ambassadors that are spread out can better serve these larger states. However, these teams also have the potential to serve DLESE in other manners. The hope is that the energy of these teams could be directed to help identify content that should be added to DLESE that serves the specific educational standards and geophysical characteristics of their local setting. Other activities might include developing new web-based resources that support their state educational needs, promoting examples of how DLESE can be used to better facilitate the teaching and learning of Earth system science, or simply building DLESE community in new ways.
The first state to receive a training workshop for this enhanced outreach effort was New York (August 2004). Additional state team workshops are planned through 2005. The targeted states are California, Texas, Florida and North Carolina.
[Link http://serc.carleton.edu/dev/comm/k12/ambassadors_by_state.html 'A complete list of existing K-12 Ambassadors can be seen by clicking on this link.']
For more information about the DLESE K-12 Ambassador, or to apply for a state that currently does not have K-12 Ambassador, please send an email to Bryan L. Aivazian (the DLESE K-12 Ambassador Outreach Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org. General training workshops are held at each of the NSTA regional and national conventions through 2005.