Educational Curriculum for Informal Youth Education

Friday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms
Poster Presentation Part of Science Literacy through Outreach Programs


Natalie Carroll, Purdue University-Main Campus
Two new Earth Science curricula have been developed for nonformal educational settings with youth audiences: Soil & Water Science and Weather & Climate Science. Both curricula include a compilation of activities that use experiential learning techniques. These activities can be used by college students, as a unit or individually, for working with youth in various settings: classroom enrichment, service learning, campus workshops, and clubs.
Both curricula include three age-graded youth manuals with a facilitator's guide. Levels 1 (for youth in grades 3-5) introduces basic terms and concepts. Activities focus on understanding important soil & water/weather & climate processes.
Level 2 activities in the Soil & Water Science curriculum helps youth put the basic concepts into action to understand more advanced soil and water concepts and interactions with the environment. Level 2 in the Weather & Climate Science curriculum introduces more complex weather topics, making and using weather instruments, and a 'greenhouse effect' activity.
Level 3 activities in the Soil & Water Science curriculum delve more deeply into soil and water science concepts, and prepares youth to be well informed and for advanced studies at college or university. Activities are divided into chapters based on how youth might use the infor¬mation they have learned — as a homeowner, as a resident of a watershed, as a food and fiber producer, as a mayor, as a teacher, and as a legislator. Level 3 in the Weather & Climate Science curriculum is divided into weather and climate sections. The weather section includes the study of air masses, the troposphere, wind chill and heat indexes, and weather station models. The climate section includes the study of climographs, droughts, the energy balance, investigating climate change and the impacts of climate change.
The manuals are available online from Purdue University's The Education Store (