Friday Session A

Friday 1:50pm-4:00pm Northrop Hall: 116
Teaching Demonstration

Session Chair

Sara ElShafie, University of California-Berkeley
1:50pm-2:10pm
A map library that builds skills in recognizing, describing, and explaining patterns
Anne Egger, Central Washington University

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Seeking patterns in Earth data is a fundamental habit of mind of geoscientists: recognition and description of patterns allows us to interpret them in light of what we know. While this process comes naturally for experts, novices often struggle to recognize, describe and interpret patterns in geospatial data. "Patterns" is also one of seven cross-cutting concepts in the Next Generation Science Standards, and many novices in our courses are future teachers. Building skills in recognizing, describing, and interpreting patterns in geospatial data requires repeated, scaffolded experiences where distractions like map projections and complicated or misleading symbols are minimized. I developed a series of maps in ArcGIS from freely-available datasets including active volcanoes, earthquakes, topography, seafloor age, porphyry copper deposits, oil and gas fields, sediment thickness, population density, and sea level rise. Students receive these maps throughout the course, each time describing the patterns and connecting the patterns to plate tectonic processes and human impacts. They develop a library that serves as a reference tool, a visual reminder of concepts covered, and a source for pattern recognition, description, and interpretation.
2:10pm-2:30pm
4th Grade Classroom Activity- Five Stations of Rock and Mineral Identifications
Randy Bechtel, NC Geological Survey

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The activity uses five stations, each having a direction sheet to lead the students through activities and answer questions about rock and mineral samples. There is a five-minute time limit at each station before they rotate to the next station. At stations one through three, each station has similar colored samples but different properties and students identify the samples using tests and observations. Station four includes several different colored samples and uses written descriptions of the samples to determine if they are all the same or not. Station five is a rock-type matching game that includes samples representing the three rock types and a rock-type poster. The outcome of the stations results in a student's ability to recognize various tests and observations that geologists use to identify mineral and rock samples: such as hardness, crystal shape, streak, luster, density and color, as well as become familiar with the basic rock types. The activity's run-time totals forty-five minutes: a ten-minute introduction, twenty-five minutes of activity, and ten minutes for wrap-up. Teachers are required to participate in the activity, choose the student groups, and provide a room setup with 5 stations.
2:30pm-2:50pm
Paleontology in the "Real World": Using recent Paleontological Literature to Engage High School Students and Encourage STEM Based Learning.
Gina Roberti, Geologic Society of America

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A lesson titled,"Fossil Teeth: A Record of Climate and Evolutionary Change in the Fossil Record" is presented as a model to illustrate how lesson plans for high school students can be developed from primary-source data. Data for this project was derived from a publication in 2012 (Jardine et al., "Grit Not Grass: Concordant Patterns of Early Origin of Hypsodonty in Great Plains Ungulates and Glires") and modified to match high-school student learning levels. Readings and data are derived directly from the primary publication. In the lesson, students examine changes in tooth morphology in the fossil record of herbivorous mammals in North America. Through graphical analysis and critical reading, students infer factors that caused the observed evolutionary adaptations and link biological adaptation to global climate change and localized habitat change. The lesson plan includes a pre-lesson with background about tooth morphology as well as extended resources for teachers (including assessments, supporting documents). I hope to showcase how primary data can be made accessible and used in activities which require student synthesis. This project has valuable applications for increasing scientific literacy and awareness of contemporary scientific practices in high-school and introductory college-level students, by allowing students to work with 'real-world' data.
2:50pm
Break
3:00pm-3:20pm
Reworking preconceptions on water movement through soil.
Julia Nord, George Mason University

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Students watch a video with a series of experiments on how water travels through soils (loam, sand, clay) and other materials such as aggregates and organics (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ego2FkuQwxc). The video is stopped several times to allow students to make predictions about what will happen, then they watch what does happen. Several of the experiments do not turn out as they predict. Students then examine why the water moves in the unpredicted way. They then apply this new knowledge to other situations in their everyday life, i.e. soaker hoses, draining wetlands etc. Students are more engaged in the experiments shown in the movie. The first prediction is intuitive, and they hypothesize correctly, then next two are incorrectly predicted. But, by the later experiments, some students do change and predict the correct outcome based on the previous experiments. Students better understand how water moves in soil (seen in applied questions later in the course) but some cling to the more intuitive, incorrect line of reasoning. To address this, a discussion session will be added to discuss why their intuition was incorrect.
3:20pm-3:40pm
Story Strategies from Film Studios that Enhance Science Learning
Sara ElShafie, University of California-Berkeley

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This workshop trains participants to share science using story art techniques from filmmaking. I discuss how to employ these techniques to create compelling narratives and visual media in presentations for any type of audience. I also demonstrate how to apply these techniques to classroom learning. The workshop offers practical guidelines and tools that facilitate creativity and accessibility in science communication and teaching. I developed this workshop in collaboration with artists at Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar has long set the standard of powerful storytelling for broad audiences. I use examples from Pixar films, as well as films from other studios, to illustrate principles of story and visual language development. I apply these principles to examples from scientific research to illustrate their use for effective science communication. The workshop combines presentations and demos with group discussion, improv exercises, and hands-on story development. Each participant will create an outline of a science story for a target audience of their choice, using a worksheet that I designed. This outline can also serve as an elevator pitch, easily tailored for any situation. I will share the worksheet with all participants so that they can use it for their own work.