Student-Developed Virtual Field Trips

Wednesday 2:45pm Weeks Geo: 140
Oral Presentation


Sherry D Oaks,
Five faculty-mentored student-developed virtual field trips (VFTs) are planned during 2016-2017 in Colorado where geology and meteorology significantly affect weather and climate. The first of these presentations is already completed and will be shown and evaluated at Colorado Mountain Collage and Fort Morgan Community College (Colorado).

These VFT student authors are: enrolled in science teacher preparation programs, majoring in geosciences at four-year colleges, or already employed in fields where science education is key such as environmental health. The VFTs highlight the interface between geology and meteorology to foster undergraduate interdisciplinary research, and to serve as a vehicle for peer-to-peer science outreach to other 2YCs.

The students researched their field areas and completed their individual research projects in 2015. During 2016, they wrote and developed their presentations. As 1st & 2nd year undergraduates, these students used what they learned from in-classroom activities, laboratory experiences, and on-site field work to translate their own science investigations into VFTs which can be shared with other traditionally underrepresented populations nationwide.

The student written, led, and produced VFTs are standalone presentations that serve as a model to introduce 2YC students to science field experience as well research and writing about science. It gives science teacher candidates and geoscience professionals opportunities to practice effective science communication.

The outcome of the first Virtual Field Trip is an active teaching tool to engage 2YC students in peer-teaching actual field experiences. The authors submitted abstracts to present their work at GSA-Denver 2016, and hope to publish in the peer-reviewed NAGT site for use by other Earth and Atmospheric Science faculty.

Faculty-mentored student-developed virtual field trips are a model for other Earth and Atmospheric Science faculty to facilitate such products with their students within their regions of the country, thereby fostering science literacy as well as science education and outreach.