DIG Texas Blueprints > About this Project

About the Project

The DIG Texas Blueprint Project provides Earth Science teachers with standards-aligned course roadmaps (blueprints). A blueprint is a suggested pathway through a year-long Earth science course.

A blueprint is composed of nine or ten individual three-week teaching units. Each unit contains links to carefully reviewed, high quality, research-based learning activities and teaching resources from trustworthy sources. Selected activities and resources are aligned with the Earth Science Literacy Principles and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Earth and Space Science, which is a high school science elective. The unit storyline provides an overview and attempts to connect lessons and educational resources in a way that makes content meaningful and relevant to learners. Developed prior to the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we have tried to demonstrate congruence with the NGSS on a unit-by-unit basis.

Each unit takes about three weeks to implement in the classroom. Scaffolding notes are included to help guide instructors on how to teach the unit. Recognizing the value of field learning in Earth Science, we include ideas for real and virtual field trips.

Although developed for Texas teachers by Texas teachers, educators in any state can select units from the DIG Texas collection of 20 live units and arrange them in their own framework to create a customized blueprint that meets the needs of their schools, districts, and unique settings.

Key Elements

1. A blueprint is a suggested pathway through a year-long Earth Science course.

2. A blueprint is composed of three-week teaching units organized in a coherent framework (blueprint) to facilitate use by educators.

3. Units contain a curated set of high-quality, reviewed resources that were carefully selected for teaching the content of an Earth Science course.

4. Blueprints include curricular resources that are congruent with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

5. In Texas, the TEKS-aligned blueprints can help ensure that Earth and Space Science, designed as a rigorous capstone course, is taught at the appropriate level.

6. DIG Texas Blueprints serve as examples for educators in any state to follow as they create their own blueprints by selecting units from the DIG Texas collection of 22 units and arranging them in an order and format to meet the course needs of their schools, districts, and unique settings.

This project has many partners.


Five regional blueprint development teams throughout Texas collaborated at workshops over a three-year period, developing the units. Each team was mentored by one of the three project investigators. Five teachers worked in the Jackson School of Geosciences over two summers as Education Interns to extend the initial work of the regional teams and finalize the resource collection.


Presentations by Teachers (Education Interns)


McIver, Hastings, Katherine K. Ellins, 2015. Collaboration Among Educators: An Essential Step in Unifying STEM Teaching Resources, Abstract ED34C-05 presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 14-18 Dec.

Jacobs, Belinda, Katherine K. Ellins, Trey Pearce, Eric Riggs, Laura Serpa, Eric Stocks, 2015. Supporting Ngss-Congruent Instruction In Earth & Space Science Through Educator Implementation And Feedback: Refining The Dig Texas Blueprints, Abstract ED34C-06 presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 14-18 Dec.

Olgin, J., M. Gereque, D. Pennington, K. Ellins, L. Serpa, 2015. EarthTech, Dig-Texas And Upward Bound: Outreach To At-Risk Students With Interdisciplinary Stem Activities, Abstract ED43D-0892 presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 14-18 Dec.

Jacobs, Belinda, Katherine K. Ellins, Trey Pearce, Eric Riggs, Laura Serpa, Eric Stocks, 2015. Rigororos Instruction in the Earth Science Classroom in the wake of the NGSS: Implementing the DIG Texas Blueprints, Paper No. 58-13, Presented at the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, 1-4 November.

Bohls-Graham, C. Elaine, Katherine K. Ellins, Connie Sergent, 2015, Building Bridges While Building Blueprints: Authentic Experiences Developing Dig Texas Blueprint Units, Paper No. 33-12, presented at the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, 1-4 November.

Sergent, Connie, Katherine K. Ellins, C. Elaine Bohls-Graham, 2015, Earth Science education in the 21st Century: One Teacher's Experience as a DIG Texas Instructional Blueprint Education Intern - Paper No. 216-7, presented at the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, 1-4 November.

Ellins, Katherine K., C. Elaine Bohls-Graham, Eric Riggs, Laura Serpa, Belinda Jacobs, Alejandra Martinez, S Fox, Mollie Kent, Eric Stocks, D D Pennington, 2014. Diversity and Innovation for Geosciences (DIG) Texas Earth and Space Science Instructional Blueprints, Abstract ED51C-3448 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 15-19 Dec.

Martinez, Alejandra, C. Elaine Bohls-Graham, Belinda Jacobs, Katherine K. Ellins, 2014. Authentic Learning Experiences for Educators through Summer Internships: Revising the DIG Texas Instructional Blueprints, Abstract ED51C-3449 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 15-19 Dec.

Jacobs, Belinda, C. Elaine Bohls-Graham, Alejandra Martinez, Katherine K. Ellins, Eric Riggs, Laura Serpa, Eric Stocks, S Fox, Mollie Kent, 2014. Evaluating Educational Resources for Inclusion in the DIG Texas Instructional Blueprints for Earth and Space Science, Abstract ED51C-3450 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 15-19 Dec.


Acknowledgements


This work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to The University of Texas at Austin (GEO-1203021), The University of Texas at El Paso (GEO-1202745), and Texas A&M University, College Station (GEO-1202920). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the developers and project investigators and do not necessarily reflect the view of the NSF.


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