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SERC Collaborations with TERC

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Earth Exploration Toolbook

The Earth Exploration Toolbook is a collection of computer-based Earth science activities. Each activity, or chapter, introduces one or more data sets and an analysis tool that enables users to explore some aspect of the Earth system.

Earth Exploration Toolbook Workshops to Facilitate the Use of Earth Science Data in Education (EET 2)

Principal Investigator: Carla McAuliffe (Carleton Account No. 29-1071-5470, TERC Project No. 4200, NSF - DUE-0532881)
This collaboration between SERC and TERC provides step-by-step instructions for using Earth science datasets and scientific tools in educational settings. Chapters in the EET walk users through case studies in which they use data and analysis tools to explore important issues and concepts in Earth system science. Clear instructions guide users through the steps to access and analyze data. Screenshots are available to help novice technology users complete detailed operations. Chapters also offer suggestions for further exploration of the data and other ways to use the tool.

SERC hosts the EET website, supporting the server and other technical efforts needed to maintain access to the site. SERC also provides access to and support for the use of the Content Management System and digital library tools for development of EET workshop materials and surveys. In addition, SERC hosts e-mail lists for workshop participants and provides web statistics on the use of the site.

Expanding the Data Cycle: Empowering Middle Level Teachers and Students to Integrate Information technology, Data Skills and Science Content (ITEST) (Completed)

Principal Investigator: Tamara Shapiro Ledley (Carleton Account No. 29-1069-5470, TERC Project No. 4495, NSF - ESI-0525183)

The ITEST DataTools project (along with the NSDL-funded EET Workshops project) is using Elluminate Web-conferencing software as a unique method of communicating with teachers. The DataTools professional development program begins with a series of teleconference/online workshops that expose teachers to the three key data analysis software tools of the program.

SERC hosts the project website, supporting the server and other technical efforts needed to maintain access to the site. SERC also maintains the discussion board space and associated document archive and listserve for use by workshop participants and adapts tools to enhance phone and on-line workshops.

Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET) (completed)


Principal Investigator:
Tamara Shapiro Ledley (Carleton Account No. 28-1811-5470, Funded by the National Science Foundation)

The Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET) provides step-by-step instructions for using Earth science datasets and scientific tools in educational settings. Chapters in the EET walk users through case studies in which they use data and analysis tools to explore important issues and concepts in Earth system science. Clear instructions guide users through the steps to access and analyze data. Screenshots are available to help novice technology users complete detailed operations. Chapters also offer suggestions for further exploration of the data and other ways to use the tool.

Chapters are designed for use by K-12 teachers, undergraduate faculty, and their students. Each chapter features specific datasets and analysis or visualization tools, and provides enough experience and in-depth knowledge of the resource to enable an educator to use it, apply it to other teaching contexts, or help students use the resource to explore and investigate aspects of the Earth system. The purpose of the Earth Exploration Toolbook is to support the use of scientific datasets, data access and analysis tools, and other products by the broader educational community.

SERC hosts the EET website, supporting the server and other technical efforts needed to maintain access to the site. SERC also provides access to and support for the use of the Content Management System and digital library tools for development of EET workshop materials and surveys. In addition, SERC hosts e-mail lists for workshop participants and provides web statistics on the use of the site.


Eyes in the Sky

Eyes in the Sky is a long-term professional development program that prepares high school science teachers to use NASA data and visualizations along with other geospatial information technologies. Throughout the program, teachers and students investigate both global and local environmental issues.

Eyes in the Sky II

Principal Investigator: Carla McAuliffe (Carleton Account No. 29-1907-5470, TERC Project No. 4403, NASA - NX09AN37A)

Eyes in the Sky II offers high school science teachers a long term, multi-faceted program that provides them with the tools to integrate NASA data, visualizations, and other technologies vital to Earth Science research into their teaching practices. Through a distance learning course and summer workshops held at or near NASA Centers,Eyes in the Sky II helps teachers use data-based investigations with students. Teachers (and subsequently their students) immerse themselves in geospatial technologies, NASA data, and current research to study the Earth and pursue scientific research questions that are of interest to them

SERC hosts the project website, providing use of its Content Management System for the creation of website content and the collection of information via forms and on-line threaded discussions. The site is hosted through a dedicated portal on the web server at SERC.

Eyes in the Sky (completed)


Principal Investigator: Carla McAuliffe (Carleton Account No. 28-1190-5470, TERC Project No. 4175, NSF - ESI-0322566)

Eyes in the Sky was created by TERC with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technology Experiences for Teachers and Students (ITEST) program and with support from ESRI, which donated site-licenses for GIS software.

Earth-orbiting satellites produce an avalanche of scientific data about our planet. Information technology (IT) provides the tools necessary to explore, model, interact with, and analyze these data.

The project links the use of geospatial IT tools—Geographical Information Systems (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), and image analysis—and community resources with potential careers. Learning to apply information technology tools within the context of community-based projects will encourage students to consider careers as technicians or researchers. This program enables teachers and students to apply information technology tools in the context of community-based science projects.

SERC hosts the project website, supporting the server and other technical efforts needed to maintain access to the site. SERC also maintains the discussion board space and associated document archive and e-mail list for use by workshop participants and adapts tools to enhance phone and on-line workshops.


CLEAN: the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network Pathway

CLEAN provides digital resources for teaching about climate science, climate change and energy awareness. Led by science education expertise of TERC, CIRES, NOAA, NREL and SERC the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Pathway was launched in November 2010 as a new National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathways project. It builds on the efforts of the Climate Literacy Network and the establishment of the Climate Literacy: Essential Principle of Climate Science (to steward a broad collection of educational resources that facilitate students, teachers, and citizens becoming climate literate and informed about "the climate's influence on you and society and your influence on climate." The focus of our efforts are to integrate the effective use of the resources across all educational levels – with a particular focus on the middle-school through undergraduate levels (grades 6-16) as well as to citizens through formal and informal education venues and communities.

CLEAN Pathway

Principal Investigator: Tamara Shapiro Ledley (Carleton Account No. 28-1987-5470, TERC Project No. 4483, NSF - DUE-0938051)

SERC Collaborative Proposal PIs: Cathy Manduca and Sean Fox

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Pathway is the latest extension of the work of Climate Literacy Network (CLN)—an organization dedicated to establishing standardized climate education for all. The CLEAN Pathway is a partnership between TERC, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and provides a comprehensive collection of climate science and climate literacy resources for students in grades 6-16 and informal citizen learners. The overarching goal of the Pathway project is to introduce standards-aligned "civic science" materials to promote responsible energy use and planetary stewardship for a sustainable future.

SERC is providing the technical infrastructure for CLEAN, is involved in the selection and review of materials for the collection and is leading efforts to develop virtual workshops for undergraduate faculty that will both build use of and create new content for CLEAN.


Earth Labs

Earth and environmental science classes are changing. Long perceived as low-level courses with little to engage or challenge students, they are becoming vital, rich, invigorating courses. As more humans recognize that our planet's resources are being stressed, these classes are receiving more interest and they are being taught as true laboratory science courses.

In keeping with this transformation, the EarthLabs project provides a national model for rigorous, engaging Earth and environmental lab science courses. Units illustrate a sequence for learning science concepts through data analysis activities, satellite imagery and computer visualizations, and hands-on experiments that illustrate processes of our Earth system.

Earth System Science: A Key to Climate Literacy

Principal Investigator: Tamara Shapiro Ledley (Carleton Account No. 29-1921-5470, TERC Project No. 4433, NASA - NNX09AL9OG)

SERC Collaborative Proposal PIs: Cathy Manduca and Sean Fox

This project focuses on the "design, development, and testing" of innovative climate change curriculum and teacher professional development (PD) for Earth Systems science (ESS) instruction, with coordination of research and development teams during implementation, efficacy study, and improvement phases. The audiences for the materials are high-school students and teachers, with a particular research focus on high-school students.

SERC hosts the site, and supports the project in its use including configuring wiki-like collaborative work spaces and supporting use of our Content Management System (CMS) In addition , SERC is supporting development of new mechanisms for incorporating NASA data and tools in learning activities, and use of video and screencasts in the For Educators site.

Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy: Climate DRK-12


Principal Investigator: Tamara Shapiro Ledley (Carleton Account No. 28-1946-5470, TERC Project No. 4052, NSF - DRL-1019721)

This project addresses the questions of "how can all students be assured the opportunity to learn significant STEM content" and "how can we enhance the ability of teachers to provide STEM education?" This project focuses on the "design, development, and testing" of innovative climate change curriculum and teacher professional development (PD) for Earth Systems science (ESS) instruction, with coordination of research and development teams during implementation, efficacy study, and improvement phases. The audiences for the materials are high-school students and teachers, with a particular research focus on high-school students.

SERC will design and host the project website, provide tools for the creation of content, evaluate site useability and provide web usage statistics.and support dissemination of content by sharing metadata with CLEAN and NSDL, and through integration of referencing links into other high volume SERC websites.

Earth Labs (completed)


Principal Investigator: Dan Barstow (Carleton Account No. 28-1068-5470, TERC Project No. 4305, NOAA - NA05SEC4691004)

The EarthLabs project provides a national model for rigorous, engaging Earth and environmental lab science courses. Units illustrate a sequence for learning science concepts through data analysis activities, satellite imagery and computer visualizations, and hands-on experiments that illustrate processes of our Earth system.

SERC hosts the project website, supporting the server and other technical efforts needed to maintain access to the site. SERC also maintains the discussion board space and associated document archive and listserve for use by workshop participants and adapts tools to enhance phone and on-line workshops.

Miscellaneous Projects

Transforming Instruction by Design in Earth Science (TIDES) (Completed)

Principal Investigators: Harold McWilliams and Carla McAuliffe (Carleton Account No. 62-1783-7593, TERC Project No. 4475. Dept. of ED - R305M050226)
The Earth Science by Design project developed and field-tested a year-long program of professional growth for middle and high school Earth science teachers. Based on the "Understanding by Design" approach, it helps teachers integrate classroom assessments, visualizations, and carefully designed activities to teach for deeper, more enduring understanding of the big ideas in Earth and space science.

The TIDES project tested the efficacy of 3 approaches to professional development, including the Earth Science by Design approach. Based on this research, the project developed a new, hybrid model of PD that will be available as an online workshop for teachers and professional development providers.

SERC hosts the project website for development of this online workshop for the Earth Science by Design/TIDES project and provides use of its Content Management System for the creation of website content and the collection of information via forms and on-line threaded discussions.

Project REDI (Completed)

Principal Investigator: Carla McAuliffe (TERC Project No. 4063, Mass Tech Collaborative - No.2007-K12-01)

Project REDI developed a set of data-based inquiry investigations in which students analyzed energy output and environmental variables from existing renewable energy installations. Students compared and correlate data on solar irradiation, wind speed, and energy output. The site is hosted through a dedicated portal on the web servers at the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College.

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