Programming for K12 Educators

Customize your Program

Join us for the fourth annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Lawrence, Kansas! Drawing across the fields of geoscience, environmental science, sustainability education, and more, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to customize their program to learn broadly, focus on a particular issue or challenge, or something in between. Events include interactive workshops, oral and poster sessions, plenary talks and teaching demonstrations (see the Rendezvous program).

Morning workshops and working groups will meet for two or three days. Workshops are interactive, with participants learning from experts and from one another. The extended lunch hour provides a break and an opportunity to network with colleagues. Poster sessions will begin during the lunch hour on two days and the posters will remain available through the close of the day's program, with authors present after afternoon sessions. During the afternoon you can pick from a mix of mini-workshops, round-table discussions and/or contributed talks or teaching demonstrations. Check out the sessions below that include K-12 teachers as part of their intended audience. Connect with your K-12 colleagues and interact with other K-20 Earth Science Educators at the Rendezvous this summer!

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Featured Events

Monday-Wednesday Morning Workshops

  • Changing the Climate of your Climate Change Lessons morning workshop. M-W, 8:30-11:30am.
    A phenomena-based, active learning experience for K-12 & intro level college instructors who teach climate change as part of their curriculum. Experience how to make cutting-edge climate data come to life in the classroom while also being given ample time for metacognition to make sense of the science. This three-morning workshop will provide an "entry level for all" approach to broaden teachers' climate change content knowledge as well as expand content experts' pedagogical best-practices. The workshop will focus on using place-based climate phenomena to engage participants in active learning experiences that exemplify the three-dimensional learning of the NGSS. Each day will allow ample time for metacognition and whole-group discourse to make sense of the science and pedagogy used throughout the day's activities. Read more...
  • Introduction to Small Unmanned Aerial Systems ("drones") and Associated Applications in STEM Explorations morning workshop. M-W, 8:30-11:30am.
    This workshop is designed for unexperienced or novice users of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS; "drones"). No prior experience is required. Although topics covered may be insufficiently advanced for intermediate- to expert-sUAS users, they are nevertheless highly encouraged to participate and share their knowledge & experience during group work. Topics covered will include sUAS hardware & software basics, current USA rules & regulations, and case studies in state-of-the-art applications including orthomosaic & structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques. Working groups will be used throughout the workshop to develop potential STEM exercises. Read more...

Thursday-Friday Morning Workshops

  • Google Earth for Onsite and Distance Education (GEODE) morning workshop. Th-F, 8:30-11:30am.
    This workshop will introduce participants to NSF-funded GEODE ( activities and exercises related to plate-tectonic reconstructions, digital planets, the fold analysis challenge, EarthQuiz, "Reasons for the Seasons," and "A Grand Tour of the Ocean Basins". Also introduced will be virtual samples and outcrops (the construction process, how students access them, and utilization in virtual field experiences) via GigaPan and 3D photogrammetric models. Further, participants will have an opportunity to engage with the activities in preparation for utilizing them in geoscience curriculum. Participants should bring their laptops or other digital devices to the workshop. Participants should bring their laptops or other digital devices to the workshop. GEODE is offering a $600 stipend to enrolled participants who participate in both days of the workshop (see workshop website for the link/more details). Read more...
  • Communicating Science to the General Public morning workshop. Th-F, 8:30-11:30am.
    Effective communication skills enable practitioners to engage non-experts, inform public opinion and policymakers, inspire the next generation of scientists and voters, and improve our own research process. This workshop takes a hands-on approach to learning the tricks of science communication, focusing on science communication as a conversation. The skills practiced can be applied to all channels of communication, from a public lecture to a social media feed. You will leave this workshop with personal goals for public outreach as well as ideas for incorporating communications training into your geoscience curriculum. Read more...

Afternoon Programming

Monday Events

  • Oral Sessions - 1:30-4pm. Themes for the Monday sessions are Course Development and the Earth Connections program. See contributed abstracts here.
  • There's Money in Muck: A sustainability study focused on biogas mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.

    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.

  • Earth Education Forum - Moving from Learning Opportunities to Learning Pathways: Guiding students toward geoscience careers 4:30-5:45pm.
    Share your experience and ideas!

    We invite you to join us for this Earth Education Forum, where participants will bring together their experiences to contribute to a discussion of strengthening learning pathways to careers in the geosciences.

    From the point of view of a student, education looks like a series of learning opportunities that cross educational levels, and add up to their education and job preparation. Successful individuals find their interests, persist across transitions, prepare effectively for the work that they would like to do, and enter into the workforce. How do we make these pathway more visible and accessible to students of all types? In this forum, we will brainstorm the opportunities we have to strengthen learning pathways that connect from elementary and middle school through to the workforce. We will uncover the role of mentoring and the value in explicit signposting for students. In our roles as educators at different levels and in different venues, how can we collectively improve students ability to see the geoscience path ahead and persist to the workforce.

Tuesday Events

  • Share-a-thon - 1:30-2:40pm. Round-robin style informal presentations, including activities that could result in "take-homes" for attendees to use in their own teaching. See session entries here.
  • Teaching Demonstrations - 2:45-4:10pm. Instructors give 20 minute demonstrations of teaching activities - see session entries here.
  • Effects of Religious or Spiritual Beliefs on Global Warming and Reactions to It Roundtable discussion, 3:00-4:15pm.
    Beliefs and values underpin behavioral choices. Religious or Spiritual belief systems, whether perceived as the same thing or differing concepts, are defining elements of value systems. Science and Religion can be diametrically opposed or can function cooperatively depending on the cosmological view of each individual. Understanding this dynamic and its effects is imperative as global warming and the need to address and reduce it increases. The intent is an open and nonjudgmental discussion.
  • Scientist-K12 Teacher Partnerships Roundtable discussion, 1:30-2:45pm.
    Scientist-K12 teacher partnerships are mutually beneficial and occur in many ways. The AGU-NESTA Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) workshop held at the annual AGU meetings has proven to be a very successful model for providing high quality professional development to teachers. Presenters are required to have at least one scientist and one educator on their team. The goal of the GIFT workshop is to increase K12 teacher-participants' content knowledge as well as provide them with useful NGSS-congruent resources to take back to the classroom. Other scientist-K12 teacher partnerships have formed when geoscientists offer field experiences for teachers and continue to work with them after the field experience to develop teaching resources. This round table will provide an opportunity to discuss successful models. We invite those who have participated in scientist-K12 teacher partnerships to attend as well as those who are looking to form scientist-K12 teacher partnerships.
  • Plenary Talk: Beverly Wright, professor of Sociology and Founding Director of Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

Wednesday Events

  • Integrating Climate Change Across the Curriculum mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    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 mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    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 mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    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?
  • Poster Session - 4:30-5:45pm. Themes for the Wednesday session are Research and Professional Development for Undergrads, Grads and Faculty. See contributed abstracts here.

Thursday Events

  • Oral Sessions - 1:30-4pm. Themes for the Thursday sessions are Professional Development and the Broadening Participation. See contributed abstracts here.
  • Using Excel for Quantitative Skill Development mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    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 mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    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 the many seamlessly integrated built-in geoscience 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. The emphasis will be on educators gaining hands-on experience and on sharing ideas. GeoMapApp is widely used for teaching and research and is developed with funding from the National Science Foundation.
  • Plenary Talk: Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director Climate + Energy Project

Friday Events

  • Teaching Demonstrations - 1:30-4pm. Instructors give 20 minute demonstrations of teaching activities - see session entries here.
  • Advancing the Conversation on NGSS Roundtable discussion, 1:30-2:45pm.
  • Using Virtual Reality Fieldtrips in Introductory Geoscience Courses Roundtable discussion, 1:30-2:45pm.
    In geosciences, VR fieldtrips can provide the opportunity to engage students and enhance learning experiences inside and outside of classroom. During this roundtable, you will experience VR fieldtrips and learn about the best practices of utilizing VR resources in the classroom. The aim of the discussion is to explore VR resources for Earth educators and develop a comprehensive list of VR activities that can be utilized in introductory geoscience courses.
  • Using Apps to Engage and Assess Students Roundtable discussion, 1:30-2:45pm.
    This roundtable discussion will explore connecting with students using apps (e.g. Flyover Country, Lambert, Rockd, and many others) both in and out of the classroom. We'll discuss using apps as a teaching tool as well as means for assessment of student learning and the student experience in the apps.
  • Poster Session - 3-4pm. Themes for the Wednesday session are Broadening Participation and Curriculum. See contributed abstracts here.
  • Town Hall