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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Paleobiology Database Educational Resources

Convener: Mark Uhen, George Mason University


Monday, July 16 | 1:30-4:00pm | Slawson G177

The workshop will be to introduce the Paleobiology Database and its open capabilities to instructors who would like to use it to teach concepts of earth history, evolution, and paleobiology to their students of any age. We will then guide the development of additional student activities (lesson plans, lab activities, active explorations, videos, etc.) by workshop participants for them to use with their own students and to upload to the PBDB system to share with others.

Supporting Spatial Thinking

Convener: Carol Ormand, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College


Monday, July 16 | 1:30-4:00pm | Slawson G175

This session is for anyone who is interested in translating research on spatial thinking into practice. After a brief overview of key findings from research on spatial cognition, participants will have a chance to explore curricular materials that support the development of students' spatial thinking skills. These materials will include the Spatial Thinking Workbook and exercises developed by the GET Spatial Learning Network. We will also discuss the cognitive science principles underlying these curricular materials, so that participants will be well-positioned to develop new materials using the same strategies and tools.

There's Money in Muck: A sustainability study focused on biogas

Conveners: Aida Awad, Broward College, Cheryl Manning, Evergreen High School, Ed Roebeck, American Geosciences Institute (AGI)


Monday, July 16 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 118

Biogas, for energy and valuable soil products, is produced through the anaerobic digestion of organic waste materials. Organic waste such as: sludge filtered from sewage water, food waste, municipal solid waste, manure from livestock operations, yard clippings, and crop residues can be turned into a renewable substitute for natural gas and a wide variety of soil products, pellets, and compost. There are over 2,200 sites producing biogas in the U.S., and over 10,000 in Europe.

Topics related to biogas present rich opportunities for three dimensional teaching and learning crosscutting the undergraduate, teacher-preparation, and K-12 levels. Join us as we explore biogas production and get hands-on with a kit and homemade biogas digester. The workshop team will offer details on ways that teachers can implement the use of digesters in different classroom environments and curricula. Such as, calculating the amount of biogas that would be produced from a certain volume of food waste, determining the size of the digester tank required to produce biogas, and considering applications for the biogas that is produced, including determining how much grid-accessible electricity can be generated from the produced biogas. We propose to show a producing kit set-up at the workshop for teachers. Back in the classroom, teachers can have students work with digesters to generate biogas with food scraps from the school cafeteria.

Strategies in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Convener: Sarah Sherman, University of British Columbia


Monday, July 16 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 123

Do you ever wonder about the efficacy of the active learning techniques you are using in class? This workshop is for anyone who wants to learn more about assessing the learning gains of their students. Participants will learn about several research approaches and methods of data collection and analysis. There will be opportunities to analyze different types of data sets as well as to discuss and develop a research plan.

Benefits of Pan-African Approaches to Teaching the Geosciences

Convener: John Warford, Florida A&M University


Monday, July 16 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 314

This workshop is designed to demonstrate the value of, and potential in, using long held, culturally responsive and universally principled teaching methods developed by people throughout the African Diaspora. This session is a continuation of the work and ideas presented at the NAGT/InTeGrate Traveling Workshop, entitled "Pan African Approaches to Teaching Geosciences," held at Morehouse College, May 23rd-25th, 2017.

The goal of this workshop is to fortify teachers, researchers, and their collaborators with additional and supportive methods to achieve their goals relative to Geoscience education and outreach. Best practices will be shared and embraced.


Integrating Climate Change Across the Curriculum

Convener: Carla McAuliffe, TERC/NESTA, Cheryl Manning, Evergreen High School


Wednesday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ritchie 164

From matter to energy, climate change can be taught in any course. Climate change is critically important for K-12 students to understand. Aspects of climate change should be integrated across the curriculum. Participants in this workshop will interact with data, video, and resources from the Climate, Literacy, and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) to develop a plan for incorporating climate change into their teaching. Examples of sample modules are available. In addition, they will explore and investigate other federally funded vetted resources to enhance the teaching of climate change.

Exploring Applications of Indigenuity: Incorporating Indigenous perspectives in the geoscience classroom

Conveners: Daniel Wildcat, Haskell Indian Nations University and Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College


Wednesday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 307

The scale and complexity of examining human interactions with the Earth requires systems thinking. In this session, we will explore the ways in which the rich worldview traditions based on holistic or complex systems thinking of the First Peoples of North America can be incorporated to enhance student comprehension. Indigenous ingenuity or INDIGENUITY is based on the deep-spatial systems thinking of American Indians and Alaska Natives and aligns with the geoscientific approach in a way that enriches students' understanding. By incorporating the experiences of people whose cultures are tied closely to the landscape, we develop a more complete understanding of processes active in a landscape, the impact of human activities, and approaches to mitigating the human impacts.

Wilder Weather: Connecting Weather and Climate to Lessons from Laura Ingalls Wilder

Convener: Barbara Mayes Boustead, AMS


Wednesday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ritchie 366

Explore weather and climate through the lens of Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter. We will discuss the connections between weather and climate, some basic climate information, the process of documenting historical weather and climate events with available data, and the impacts of extreme weather on both historical and modern communities. Threaded throughout the presentation, learn the weather and climate facts behind the fiction! What were the big weather and climate events in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books? Were her descriptions truth or storytelling? How did the events affect the Ingalls and Wilder families and their communities?

This session is co-sponsored by the American Meteorological Society.

Developing and Implementing Program Assessment

Convener: Eric Pyle, James Madison University


Wednesday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 123

It can be said that if one does not like assessment and evaluation, then education is a poor choice of career. "Assessment" and "evaluation" tend to be used interchangeably, but they have very specific uses when they are applied to programs of study. In this mini-workshop, we will disassemble common geoscience learning tasks to determine student mastery relative to established objectives (the extent to which students are learning), and then subsequently synthesize tasks that can be used to assess student progress relative to program goals (are we doing what we say we are doing). The workshop will conclude with the use of the data generated through assessment in the attachment of value to programs, or evaluation. Participants are encouraged to bring with them a description of a learning task and a set of program goals.

Supporting Successful Transitions: Principles for Students of All Ages

Conveners: Cathryn Manduca, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary, Cailin Huyck Orr, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, Jim Swartz, Grinnell College


Wednesday, July 18 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ritchie 368

From academic preparation to identity preparation and a welcoming climate, we will explore ways to encourage and support academic transitions. Drawing on examples from the EarthConnections, SAGE 2YC, and LSAMP IINSPIRE projects that span from middle school to university participants will have an opportunity to discuss a wide range of models, synthesize elements of effective practice and apply this knowledge to their own environment.


GETSI (GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues): Teaching with the GETSI module "GPS, Strain, and Earthquakes"

Convener: Vince Cronin, Baylor University


Thursday, Jul 19 | 1:30-4:00pm | Ritchie 164

The module GPS, Strain and Earthquakes by the GETSI project (GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues) facilitates learning about high precision GPS data through the lens of earthquake hazards, risk, and preparedness. The module is a particularly good fit for structural geology, geophysics, or tectonics courses. This workshop is designed for anyone (1) who would like to use all or part of the GETSI "GPS, Strain, and Earthquakes" module in an undergraduate geoscience course, and (2) who might want to learn how to use GPS velocity data to measure horizontal strain in the crust. No prior experience with GPS or GETSI modules is needed. All of the resources you need to facilitate student learning about this topic are provided, including PowerPoints, worksheets, access to datasets, and "strain calculators" in Excel, MatLab, or Mathematica.

Advancing the Perception and Adoption of Geosciences in a New Era

Convener: Felicia Davis, Clark Atlanta University


Thursday, Jul 19 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 123

This "shopwork" is designed to generate creative thinking and innovative strategies for increasing exposure to Geoscience opportunities. A rebuilding of the public appreciation for Geoscience is possible starting with a fresh look at course objectives, instructors stories, and "Strengths of the Module" section in SERC InTegrate courses and modules. Successful approaches prioritize diversity, inclusion and more effective promotion of the Geosciences.

Strategies for Writing a Strong NSF Proposal

Convener: Brandon Jones, National Science Foundation


Thursday, Jul 19 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 314

This workshop is designed to provide insight and guidance for proposal preparation for submission to NSF programs. Topics covered will include funding opportunities, the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), types of proposal submissions, types of funding mechanisms and sections of an NSF proposal.

Using Excel for Quantitative Skill Development

Convener: Benjamin Maas, Buena Vista University


Thursday, Jul 19 | 1:30-4:00pm | Lindley 307

This workshop is designed for all geoscience educators who are interested in incorporating data analysis, interpretation, and collection into their classes using Microsoft Excel. During the two and a half hour session, participants will learn steps from the collection of free data available online to the interpretation and display of the data. To accomplish these tasks, workshop participants will work on example assignments to illustrate how data sets can be utilized in courses. The focus of the workshop will be on teaching data analysis and visualization methods such as pivot tables, bubble charts, fixed cell references, independent axes, plotting core data, and the conversion of text files to columns.

Engaging Introductory Students with Data Discovery and Visualizations Using GeoMapApp

Convener: Andrew Goodwillie, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory


Thursday, Jul 19 | 1:30-4:00pm | Slawson G177

Bringing research-grade geoscience data into the classroom empowers students and enriches understanding. In this hands-on workshop, we use GeoMapApp, a free map-based data discovery and visualisation tool from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, to highlight meaningful ways to engage students with seamlessly integrated geophysical, geochemical and geological data sets. Tips for effectively using GeoMapApp in the classroom will be given, and examples of teaching activities will be drawn from the SERC and InTeGrate collections and will include seafloor spreading, earthquakes and volcanoes, geodetic applications, and geomorphology.

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