Earthquake Education Workshops In N.C.: A Teacher-Led Model For Science Education Workshops

Thursday 3:30pm Northrop Hall: 340


Randy Bechtel, NC Geological Survey
Dr. Kenneth B. Taylor, North Carolina Geological Survey
In September 2014, the North Carolina Geological Survey (NCGS) conducted a series of three one-day earthquake education workshops in the western part of the state. These workshops were funded by a grant from the FEMA Earthquake Program EMA-2012-GR-5283-001. The workshops were led by two winners of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) Award, who had also participated in a two-day Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) workshop. The participants included both formal K-12 teachers and non-formal educators such as N.C. State Park Rangers. Each participant received a notebook of activities, education kit materials, Continuing Education credits and Environmental Education credits. The NCGS subsequently made available all materials through download from our geoscience education webpage.

The OEST teachers, with some initial guidance from IRIS, determined the agenda, materials and hands-on activities that would be directly useful in the classroom, and all materials were correlated to the N.C. Essential Standards (science) curriculum. The experience of these veteran teachers informed the workshop planning process, keeping in mind the realities of the classroom and expectations put on teachers. This workshop was not a content workshop led by an expert scientist presenting in-depth information and requiring teachers to digest, develop and institute their own programming. However, a seismologist was involved to fact check and provide expertise as needed. The agenda was built to be a cohesive set of activities that could literally be used the next day in the classroom. The lead teachers discussed characteristics of demonstrating each activity and how to teach the information to various types of learners. In turn the participants were able to ask the lead teachers for suggestions in presenting the information and demonstrations to their specific audiences.