Fred Siewers

Geography and Geology

Western Kentucky University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects


Rates of Change and Deep Time in the Middle Grades Classroom part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
The nature and scientific measurement of geological and cosmological time are among the most misunderstood and difficult to teach concepts in all of K-12 science education. To address this issue, a multi-disciplinary team of geologists, astronomers and education professionals at Western Kentucky University developed a series of professional development workshops for pre- and in-service middle grades teachers. The goals of those workshops were to 1) to develop teacher's content understanding of rates of change and the ages of the earth and universe; and 2) to provide teachers with materials, activities and teaching strategies to help them more effectively educate students about rates of change and the concepts of deep time. Two four-day workshops were held, with each workshop divided into two two-day sessions. Each workshop day consisted of a blend of in-depth content discussions, hands-on activities, and classroom implementation forums. The teachers were provided with all the materials necessary to implement the lessons learned during the workshops as well as publications pertaining to deep time and evolution. Teachers were assessed prior to and immediately after each workshop day and were required to submit a classroom implementation plan as part of their involvement in the workshops. We have been successful in meeting our workshop goals. The participants clearly advanced their content understanding of geological and cosmological time and the implementation plans received clearly show a desire to apply many of the activities learned in the workshop. Ironically, and despite state science standards mandating coverage of concepts of rates of change and deep time, teachers find that they do not have the time to fully educate their students about geological and cosmological time. We are currently assessment results and are working to disseminate the workshop materials (


Geology at Western Kentucky University: turning Earth Enthusiasts into Engaged Earth Scientists part of Integrate:Workshops:Broadening Access to the Earth and Environmental Sciences:Essays
Fredrick Siewers, Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University Geology majors at Western Kentucky University (WKU) have a deep connection to the Earth, either through personal experience having grown up in a ...

Other Contributions (2)

Western Kentucky University Geology, Western Kentucky University part of Building Strong Geoscience Departments:Curricula & Programs:Curriculum Profiles
Information for this profile was provided by Fredrick Siewers, Western Kentucky University. Information is also available on the [link Department web site: Program web site: ...

Supporting Minority Students at Western Kentucky University part of Integrate:Programs:Supporting Minority Students
Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public, comprehensive university of over 21,000 students. It is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and it is one of nine state-supported institutions in Kentucky's postsecondary system. The university was founded as a Normal school in 1906. Over time it evolved beyond its Teacher College roots to become, in 1966, a University with six distinct colleges. It is currently the largest four-year comprehensive university in Kentucky. The Geology program at WKU is part of the Department of Geography and Geology and WKU's Ogden College of Science and Engineering. The Department is one of the oldest at WKU with roots traceable back to WKU's early Teacher College years. The department has always had a strong connection to the cave and karst landscape of south-central, KY, including Mammoth Cave National Park; the karst resources of the region have been a major attraction and an important focus of the department's activities and its educational programs. The Department of Geography and Geology currently has 206 active majors among four programs: geography (61 majors), geology (63 majors), meteorology (70 majors) and geographic information systems (12 majors). The demographic make-up of the Department is similar to College of Science and Engineering; approximately two-thirds of the students are male and 80% of the students are white. These data differ from the University as a whole, which although predominantly white (79%), has more female undergraduate students (58%) than male students (42%).

Events and Communities

InTeGrate Broadening Access Workshop