Winona State University
Jennifer Anderson is an Associate Professor of Geoscience at Winona State University in southeastern Minnesota. She is a planetary geologist who specializes in experimental impact cratering and came from a broad scientific background including geophysics, astrophysics, and physics. She teaches Astronomy, Earth & Space Systems, Planetary Geology, Geophysics, and other courses. She is also very passionate about science education, advises the Earth Science teaching majors at WSU, and teaches in the two-semester, interdisciplinary, "Investigative Science" content course sequence for elementary education majors.
Why do some things float while other things sink? part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
This is an inquiry-based activity designed to introduce students to the concept of density by investigating why some objects float and some objects sink. Students are given a variety of objects and are asked to predict which objects will float and which will sink when placed in a tub of water. Students then do the activity and brainstorm a list of what properties might be important to this sinking and floating "property." Students then focus their study of why things sink on volume and mass and they design experiments using pennies and film canisters to explore how changing the volume or mass of an object changes whether it sinks or floats. This activity leads up to the idea of density by allowing students to come to their own understanding of what density is before defining it or even using the word "density." Learn more about the course for which this activity was developed.
Water Quality Testing in your Local Water Cycle part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
This activity is designed to get students thinking about where they find water in their local environment, where that water came from, and what part of the water cycle that water represents. Students identify a number of sources of water that are available to them locally. They collect samples of that water to bring back to class and perform simple chemical tests including pH, Hardness, Phosphates, Alkalinity, Nitrates and Nitrites. Water samples can also be analyzed for microscopic (and macroscopic) biology. Prior to completing the chemical analyses, students are asked to describe the water visually and decide whether or not they would drink it and why/why not. Learn more about the course for which this activity was developed.
The "What is Science?" Box part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this activity, a group of 3-4 students are presented with a box that has writing on the five visible sides. Their task is to determine what is on the bottom of the box without touching the box in any way or moving from their seats. In solving this problem, students are using the same techniques that scientists use to learn about nature.
Comparative Planetary Geomorphology part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
This is a laboratory exercise to introduce comparative planetary geomorphology by investigating common geologic features on the Earth, Moon, and Mars. -
Investigative Science I and III part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Course
This is a two-semester sequence that covers science content for elementary education majors(preK-8). Investigative Science I: "Physical Science in your Environment" covers Nature of Science, Physics, and Chemistry content. Investigative Science III: "Scientific Investigation of your Environment" covers Earth, Space, and Life Science content. The course is taught in a combined lecture/lab format, with minimal lecturing and mostly hands-on, inquiry-based activities that can be translated to the students' future classrooms.
Winona State University: Earth - The Water Planet part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Courses
This interdisciplinary course is the first of two science content courses specifically designed for elementary education majors (K-5). It is team-taught by two science faculty from Geoscience, Physics, Chemistry, and/or Biology. The course is structured similar to how the students' future elementary classrooms will be structured: all course activities that help students learn content are inquiry based and constructed with commonly available materials that they will have access to in their future classrooms. The science content is taught around the common theme of water, another material that the students' will have access to in their future classrooms. The course is assessed primarily through metacognitive reflective essays, concept maps, and larger projects. For Dr. Anderson's reflections on the course and its design, see Earth - The Water Planet: Role in the Program.
My personal journey into the methods of geoscience part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Essays
My personal journey into the methods of geoscience Jennifer L. B. Anderson, Geoscience, Winona State University It has been so interesting to plan for this workshop because over the last year I've really ...