Teaching STEM Teachers Using NASA GLOBE Protocols

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Student Union: Ballroom B
Poster Session Part of Friday Session


Carol Engelmann, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Graduate and undergraduate STEM courses at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) are being designed to integrate the protocols from NASA's Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. GLOBE is an international citizen science and education program that encourages teachers and students to participate in data collection and the scientific process while making observations of their environment.

GLOBE is aligned with Earth System Science and the protocols focus on collecting data to study the Pedosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere. The GLOBE web-site provides a set of observation protocols that include information about the GLOBE approved equipment required for each investigations. Using these GLOBE protocols standardizes the data collection process of UNO STEM students, thus making their collected data credible and comparable to data collected at other GLOBE sites around the world. These UNO STEM courses are conducted on a restored prairie, The Glacier Creek Preserve, which is a short drive from UNO's main campus. The students enter their data on the GLOBE international web-site and the data is used by scientists' in their research and by NASA scientists to ground truth NASA satellite data.

Assessment data collected through surveys and undergraduate STEM research projects and graduate student projects over three semesters is very encouraging. While this is new at UNO, three semesters of data show that both the graduate and undergraduate students claim the GLOBE protocols deepened their understanding of how to engage in "real" science research and the importance of following protocols.

In support of the in-service teachers taking the graduate courses, Dr. Carol Engelmann, Hubbard STEM Learning Instructor, and Dr. Ashlee Dere, Assistant Professor of Geology, were awarded a Nebraska Space Grant Office "Teacher-Training Mini-Grant", which funded the purchase of GLOBE equipment for educators to borrow and use with students at their own schools.