Afternoon Mini Workshops

Afternoon mini workshops are open to all participants registered for that day (not reserved ahead of time). Join the email list to receive updates.

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Flipping your Class: What to leave out, what to add in

Convener(s): Jen Roberts, Greg Baker, U. of Kansas


Monday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Sonata Meeting Room

Many well-respected groups and associated faculty have tackled the issues of Earth science classroom transformation through decades of research and application. Today, many significant pedagogical advances to the standard lecture-lab classroom formats have been presented, tested, and demonstrated effective. However, even instructors who are favorably inclined to these pedagogies are limited by class time; thus, sufficient in-class time may represent a substantial barrier to sustainable reform. This interactive workshop will address the utility of an instructional model that finds extra time for in-class activities through the adoption of a " flipped" class format. By moving part of the instruction outside the classroom, instructors are provided with time in class to incorporate active learning strategies that have been shown to decrease attrition and improve student performance.

Incorporating Earth Science into Other High School Science Classes

Convener(s): Cheryl Manning, Evergreen High School & NESTA


Monday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Ed Gordon Suite

NGSS elevates the Earth Sciences to be on par with Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Unfortunately, state and district systems are slow to change how they are organizing curriculum. While having a course dedicated to the Earth Sciences would be ideal, this workshop will give Earth Science Education professors, curriculum developers, district and state curriculum coordinators and teacher-leaders the opportunity to create Earth Science units of study integrated into Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses.

How to Incorporate Service Learning in your Course and Curriculum

Convener(s): Sarah Fortner, Wittenberg University


Monday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ogg: Classroom 1227

Service learning provides students with opportunities to directly meet the needs of their community. For students, this reinforces the relevance of the geosciences and their personal role in community problem solving. Participants will identify and share service-learning project ideas that support course and program learning goals. Robust approaches might select learning goals that align with key habits and skills of professionals involved in community-based decision-making. They might also support meaningful interactions between diverse individuals. This workshop is open to faculty new to service learning and to those seeking to support improved student learning gains or an increased community impact.

Using the Science Literacy Documents to Guide Instruction

Convener(s): Don Duggan-Haas, Paleontological Research Institution


Monday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ogg: Phillips Lounge

The Essential Principles and Big Ideas from the different documents listing Earth Systems Literacy Principles (for ocean, and atmospheric science, geology (a.k.a., Earth Science), climate and energy) represent important consensuses about the most important ideas within each discipline, but also represent a challenge to educators. Collectively, they include 38 ideas and 247 concepts, that educational and scientific experts in each of these disciplines believe every American should understand. This workshop will look across the different sets of principles and concepts and share a synthesizing framework with associated strategies and resources that facilitate learning and instruction across a range of educational settings. Participants will work with resources and engage in discussions that use the literacy principles to foster interdisciplinarity and teaching about systems.

Designing Effective Assignments and Activities

Convener(s): Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College


Monday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Symphony Meeting Room

We will focus on practical and effective strategies for designing inquiry-based assignments and activities and on how to successfully implement techniques such as jigsaw, gallery walk, and concept sketches in courses at all levels. Participants will use a rubric developed by On the Cutting Edge for evaluating the effectiveness of assignments/activities and will have time to work on developing an assignment for their own courses.


Fostering Student Interest and Motivation in the Classroom

Convener(s): Jane Russell, University of Iowa


Wednesday, July 20 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Overture Meeting Room

Do you want students to participate actively in discussion, prepare for class, and become responsible learners? Student interest and motivation are critical to initiate and sustain engagement. Session participants will learn effective strategies to foster student motivation and engage in exercises ho to apply them in the classroom.

How to Increase the Level of Inquiry in your Lab Activities

Convener(s): Katherine Ryker, Eastern Michigan University


Wednesday, July 20 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Concerto Meeting Room

Inquiry: easy to say we use in teaching, harder to prove! Inquiry learning parallels the process of scientific inquiry, and focuses on the students' role in asking and investigating scientific questions. Inquiry-based labs are one way to promote student-centered teaching and a strong conceptual understanding of the geosciences, including when labs are taught by Teaching Assistants. However, it is easy to default to cookbook labs in which students follow rote procedures to get a pre-determined result, especially when time is a factor. Participants will work in teams to measure the level of inquiry in several geoscience labs, including one of their own. By the end of the workshop, participants will have identified specific strategies to increase the inquiry level of their own lab activities, and created a plan for revising others.

Place-based Geoscience Teaching in Support of Sustainability

Convener(s): Steve Semken, Arizona State University - Tempe


Wednesday, July 20 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Symphony Meeting Room

Places are made by people. Place-based teaching draws on the importance of places to people, as context for locally situated geoscientific inquiry and to promote local environmental and cultural sustainability. This collaborative workshop is intended to facilitate the effective use of the place-based modality and the sense of place by formal and informal geoscience educators at all levels.

Teaching and Developing Quantitative Literacy in the Geosciences

Convener(s): Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, Western Washington University


Wednesday, July 20 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ogg: Classroom 1227

Geology is perceived by many students as a qualitative science, and thus is attractive to students who love science but are afraid of math. As a result, many students of geology are either intimidated by, or underprepared in math when they enter the discipline. This workshop will focus on methods that may be used to clarify quantitative concepts without reducing mathematical rigor. Participants will develop ways of guiding students through advanced quantitative ideas using both visual and written methods.

What are the Components of a Successful NSF Proposal?

Convener(s): Basil Tikoff, U. of Wisconsin & Julie Newman, Texas A&M University


Wednesday, July 20 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ogg: Phillips Lounge

This session is for those who anticipate submission of NSF proposals for disciplinary research and/or geoscience educational proposals. This workshop is from the perspective of someone who submits proposals to multiple programs. We will discuss: 1) How to follow read and understand an NSF program solicitation; 2) What are all the parts of a successful proposal; 3) When (and how) to contact an NSF program director; 4) Understanding the review process; 5) How to effectively present your proposal to both the reviewers and the panel; 6) The importance of the broader impacts, and the many approaches to satisfying this component of the proposal; and 7) The advantages and disadvantages of single PI vs. multiple PI proposals.

Does it Take Two to Tango? Interdisciplinary Teaching Solo and in Teams

Convener(s): Catherine A. Riihimaki, Princeton University and Lisa Gilbert, Williams College


Wednesday, July 20 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Ed Gordon Suite

A discussion about the opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary teaching, including some successful case studies and their take-home lessons. Educators of all levels of experience and all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome!


Overcoming the Obstacles to Teaching Reform

Convener(s): Sara Harris, University of British Columbia


Friday, July 22 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Symphony Meeting Room

Transitions to evidence-based, student-centered teaching can involve practical, human, and system-level challenges. How do we transform our own teaching practices, and also develop critical mass to change cultural norms? This workshop will explore effecting change at personal, departmental, and institutional levels, drawing on participants' experience and community resources. All are welcome, whether your obstacles are past, present, or future.

Making Undergraduate Research a Key Part of Your Class or Curriculum

Convener(s): Lydia K. Fox, University of the Pacific, and Meagen Pollock, College of Wooster


Friday, July 22 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ogg: Classroom 1227

This workshop is designed for new and future geosciences faculty, including graduate students and post-docs preparing to enter academic positions, who are interested in developing an undergraduate research program, as well as faculty interested in expanding their research programs to include undergraduates. The workshop will cover: incorporating research into courses (from introductory to advanced), project selection and mentoring of undergraduates in independent research, and ideas for funding opportunities.

What are Students Learning in Your Course? Strategies for Assessment

Convener(s): Karl Wirth, Macalester College, Karen Viskupic, Boise State University


Friday, July 22 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ogg: Phillips Lounge

What do we mean when we ask if students have "learned" something? Are some kinds of assessments better suited for specific kinds of learning? What are the purposes of assessing learning? This workshop will focus on what we want students to learn and how we know when they have learned it. Beginning with the end in mind, participants will first explore goals for student learning. Next the group will consider a variety of ways for assessing student learning, including: gauging prior knowledge; providing feedback to improve learning; and evaluating learning at the end of a unit. Participants will leave the workshop with drafts of several instruments for implementation in their next course.

Exploring the Use of Computational Models in Teaching Climate Change in K-12

Convener(s): Tamara Ledley, TERC & Mark Chandler, Columbia University, NASA/GISS


Friday, July 22 | 1:30-4:00pm | Gordon: Ed Gordon Suite

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require the teaching of science in a way that integrates the content with science and engineering practices (SEPs) and crosscutting concepts (CCs). Earth system and climate science are ideal areas for implementing an integrated approach to teaching because both involve complex systems and both require interdisciplinary content knowledge. However, this also requires teachers to develop an understanding of not only the SEPs and CCs, but also an understanding of a much broader range of content, if they are to effectively integrate these subjects into their teaching. In this workshop we will focus our attention on the SEP Developing and Using Models and in particular on the use of computational models.

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