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Implementation Programs: Incorporating Geoscience throughout the Curriculum

InTeGrate supports a series of implementation programs to incorporate geoscience into programs designed to reach a diverse array of students, including those from groups underrepresented in the geosciences and students whose dominant interest or field of study lies outside the geosciences.

Energy Systems Visualization
Staff and students looking at the class materials for the Power and Energy Engineering Practice School. The practice schools is a collaborative effort between NREL and the Schools of Mines. Image courtesy DOE/NREL. Credit: Dennis Schroeder.

These implementation programs will strive to:

The implementation programs will result in the development of at least 26 models of ways to bring geoscience to a diverse range of disciplines, institutions, and networks, as well as provide the documentation and resources necessary to help other groups implement similar programs.

Implementation Programs

A coalition of state schools across the state of Washington led by Central Washington University will demonstrate how institutions can collaborate within a state to improve teacher preparation. Working through groups such as Teachers of Teachers of Science and the northwest section of the NAGT, this network will integrate geoscience methods and pedagogy modules developed through this proposal into science content courses.

A Grand Valley State University project plans to redesign three existing science methods courses for pre-service teaching students majoring or minoring in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. The courses will incorporate Earth science content, especially climate change and energy, as overarching themes. The courses will develop shared pedagogical content skills, as well as those skills unique to each discipline, with the goal of integrated science methods courses across the curriculum.

Faculty at Gustavus Adolphus College will work together to integrate a set of climate science modules across the liberal arts curriculum, increasing the level of climate science literacy among faculty and students and setting the stage for meaningful interdisciplinary discussions of the role of climate change across the liberal arts curriculum.

A Pennsylvania State University cluster will demonstrate ways in which distance-learning courses can be used to enhance programming among a collaborating set of institutions. Courses in support of a new online Certificate of Excellence in Earth Science program aimed specifically at non-traditional and foreign students will be offered through the Penn State World Campus. Building on collaborations established by the Africa Array program (an NSF OEDG project), these courses will enhance the Earth Science offerings at a network of historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving partner schools including the Fort Valley State, NCA&T, Jackson State, CSU-Northridge and CSU-Bakersfield. These programs will serve as national geosciences-education distance learning models intended to increase student interest in the geosciences and, more broadly, geoscience literacy.

Stanford University will demonstrate the ways in which collaboration can be built between minority serving institutions (MSI), including two-year colleges, and graduate programs in the Earth sciences. The program will focus on engaging Stanford University School of Earth Sciences graduate students and postdocs in teaching with InTeGrate materials at targeted MSI/2YCs.

A University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) cluster is fostering collaboration among a dual-enrollment high school, a two-year college, and a comprehensive university to interest, prepare, and support students to complete four year degrees in geoscience, environmental science, or Earth science education. An integral piece of this collaboration is the use of InTeGrate materials across the programs. UTEP is an urban, minority-serving institution with over 60% first-generation college students. More than 80% of the students at UTEP are from the El Paso region and nearly all graduates in primary or secondary education go on to teach in the local school districts. Thus, this program provides an excellent opportunity for implementing strategies for engaging students underrepresented in the sciences and for studying the impact of the program in a relatively closed system.

A consortium of Washington State Colleges and Universities in partnership with Washington's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Teachers of Teachers of Science, and Teachers of Teachers of Mathematics, and other key stakeholders, will improve science learning and Earth literacy for all Washington State students by creating an improved model for STEM teacher preparation in Washington State aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and utilizing InTeGrate course materials. This project intends to strengthen the role of geoscience in the preparation and professional development of K-12 teachers.

Wittenberg University will transform its educational model, moving from isolated general education requirements without linkages, toward a model that fosters interdisciplinary thinking and a proactive student presence in the community. The team at Wittenberg University will thread sustainability modules within existing courses, broadening participation in sustainability curricula through recruitment and training, and creating linkages in sustainability problem-solving within our community.

Student field work
Students practice field techniques used to site components of EarthScope's transportable array, which is used to measure the motion and deformation of Earth's crust. Image courtesy of the IRIS Consortium. Credit: Rick Callender. More about the transportable array

Grant-Funded Implementation Programs

Beginning in 2014, institutions or clusters of institutions will be able to apply for $50,000 grants to develop approximately 20 new implementation programs. These programs will:

We anticipate that each project will involve at least five faculty members and be led by a coordinator or administrator. A steering committee of qualified community members, established in association with NAGT, will review proposals and select those to be funded based on the likely success of the program, its potential to model a new and transferable approach, and its ability to support a diversity of institutional settings and a diversity of students.

Building on workshops offered by the Building Strong Geoscience Departments program, InTeGrate workshops extend understanding the relationship between program offerings and the diverse workforce equipped to address the resource and environmental challenges faced by society. These workshops and the web resources they produce form a foundation for teams as they develop proposals for implementation programs. These program-level workshops began in 2012 and include:

Application guidelines for developing new implementation programs will be released in Fall 2013.

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