Jeff Thomas

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Physics and Earth Science
Central Connecticut State University

Jeff Thomas is an assistant professor of science and science education at Central Connecticut State University. He teaches secondary science methods, earth science and physical science for elementary majors, meteorology, and various graduate courses for in-service science teachers. Previously, Jeff was a secondary earth science teacher for twelve years and he was also a broadcast meteorologist for four years. He research interests are related to inquiry, curriculum development, geoscience education.

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activity

Reasons for the Seasons part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This two-part inquiry activity helps students investigate the reasons for the seasons. The aim for the first part of this activity is to engage students' prior knowledge by having them predict seasonal temperature trends among various cities (cities should be located different latitudes). Students then collect seasonal temperature data to compare their prediction to the actual data. Then, students make interpretations about the seasonal patterns of each city as well as among them. For instance, students could observe that cities closer to the equator have less variation in seasonal temperature when compared to cities further from the equator. Based on the observations from part one, students then generate inferences/possible explanations to explain why these seasonal temperature trends. The most common student explanations are: 1) distance from the sun, 2) amount of daylight hours, and 3) angle of the sun. Students are then directed to online data sources to determine if there is a correlation between the seasonal temperature data and the new data (e.g. amount of daylight hours) they collected. Students then try to explain if any correlations between (or among) the data sets are plausible. Finally, the instructor then can direct students to the actual reasons for the seasons (e.g. angle of incidence of the sun's energy) through supporting activities or lecture.

Course

History and Nature of Science part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Course
This course examines the development of science, mathematics, and technology in order to understand our natural world. Specifically, this course focuses on the nature of scientific knowledge that is created through empirical, theoretical, and practical applications.

Essay

The development of my understanding of the methods of earth science part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Essays
The development of my understanding of the methods of earth science Jeff Thomas, Physics and Earth Science, Central Connecticut State University My first job after college was working for a small, private weather ...


Events and Communities

InTeGrate Materials Developers

ITG Teaching the Methods of Geoscience workshop 2012