Programming for K-12 Educators

Customize your Program

Join us for the fifth annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Nashville, Tennessee! 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!

See the program at-a-glance » Register for the Rendezvous »

Featured Events


  • Monday-Wednesday (three-day; day 1 of 3) morning workshop: Integrated Environmental Systems at TSU Farm, 8:30-11:30am.
    This workshop presents educators at all levels with activities and lessons to help incorporate nature into their classes. The TSU campus farm and wetlands provide important ecosystem services and avail magnificent resources to explore the natural world. The workshop will be helpful for educators to include active learning opportunities for students to explore how geology interacts with environments (ecological niches) resulting in different biological responses.
    Each set of activities will commence with a group discussion of objectives & goals. We will use fieldwork and active learning activities to explore various approaches to teaching and learning about integrated environmental systems while in the field. Each day will close with some questions to explore and curriculum development discussions.Read more...
  • Using Community Science to Advance Earth Science Learning afternoon mini-workshop. 1:30-4:00pm.
    This workshop is for anyone interested in leveraging their Earth science teaching to produce meaningful local impact. We will introduce the practice of community science, in which projects are designed in partnership with community leaders and use Earth science to advance community priorities – and explore how community science can serve curricular goals from students from middle-school through college. Using case-studies and organizational partnerships, participants will learn strategies for connecting with local community groups. Through role-playing, participants will have an opportunity to practice scoping community science projects. Finally, we will deconstruct past community science projects so we know what kinds of student learning these projects are most likely to advance and what kind of additional learning supports might be needed to maximize that learning. Read more...
  • Teaching and Perpetuating Earth Stewardship Education afternoon mini-workshop. 1:30-4:00pm.
    Earth Stewardship - our deliberate and continuous effort to fulfill our sacred obligations and duties to the realm that makes Life itself possible - Mother Earth. The teaching of Earth Stewardship is needed now more than ever.The goal of this mini-workshop is to present and share additional and supportive methods and information to help us achieve our individual, collective, and institutional goals related to Sustainability, Conservation, and Earth Stewardship education and practice. Special focus will be on K-12 teachers and those who support them. Everyone is welcome. Best practices will be shared and embraced. Please bring your laptop or tablet. Read more...
  • A Beginner's Guide to Creating Short Videos for Geoscience Courses afternoon mini-workshop. 1:30-4:00pm.
    A few years ago, we began creating short instructional videos for an introductory geoscience course. While we had little prior experience in creating videos, previous research provided us with some principles for effective multimedia design. Our videos follow a standard format and feature conversational narration with a mix of concise text, images, demonstrations, and assessments (see Based on our experiences, we will offer some suggestions for instructors who are considering creating their own short videos. We will provide guidance on key steps in the process including identifying learning objectives, writing a script, building a storyboard, and using visuals to illustrate information. We will focus on the use of relatively basic tools for organizing information (PowerPoint), non-professional tools for capturing images (phones, cameras), and introduce participants to software for video editing and production that is relatively straightforward (Camtasia). Read more...
  • Oral sessions, 1:30-4:00pm
  • Earth Education Forum, 4:30-5:45pm.



Thursday Events

  • Thursday-Friday (two-day; day 1 of 2) morning workshop: Creating and Integrating Meaningful Virtual and Augmented Reality Content for Geoscience Classes, 8:30-11:30am.
    Learn the tips and tricks needed to create an engaging, story-driven Immersive Virtual Field Experience (IVFE) that can be utilized by all students on nearly any device. Participants will briefly explore the characteristics of an engaging IVFE before spending the majority of the workshop collaboratively planning and creating an IVFE scene using local phenomenon and a variety of free or free-to-try software. Participants should be comfortable using a computer.Read more...
  • Thursday-Friday (two-day; day 1 of 2) morning workshop: Connect with Students by Leveraging Phenomena and Incorporating Modeling into the K-12 Earth Science Classroom, 8:30-11:30am.
    For ALL Earth Science teachers. Participants will deconstruct standards (NGSS with connections to TN science standards) and relate them to relevant Earth Science-anchoring events they can use to frame their unit or a segment of lessons within a unit. We will loosely follow the Ambitious Science Teaching framework which helps guide teachers in planning for engagement to elicit students' ideas. Working in small groups, colleagues will learn how to begin the creation of a new learning segment centered around a phenomena based anchoring event. With guidance, everyone will have the opportunity to work on redesigning selected units to implement with their classes. Finally, we will outline how to support ongoing changes in student thinking and pressing for evidence based explanations in your classroom using modeling. Please have 1-3 standards chosen that you would like to improve upon during this workshop.Read more...
  • Earth Observatory for Kids: Communicating Earth Science in a hands-on approach to Our Young Earthlings afternoon mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    NASA's Earth Observatory, launched a free online publication aimed at communicating real Earth science data to diverse young adults. Publications showcase global issues, increasing young adult's awareness of our Earth and many of the natural (and unnatural) phenomena that are occurring on our planet. Each issue comes with a story focused on real satellite imagery and an activity that can be used in programs, along-side peers, and with parents. Stories are complemented with a different hands-on activity to further engage kids in science and satellite data. DIY Science experiments reinforce the science concepts from the main story and Maker Corner activities connect science with engineering. The Data Viz and Data Investigation themes focus on engaging kids with real satellite data to connect hands-on activities to answering science questions. Our goal is to put the publication in the hands of kids who are interested in current non-fiction about our planet and use hands-on activities to connect science with unifying global issues that affect all humans on Earth. We will showcase some of our favorite activities and discuss methods for using them with kids. Come explore our Earth with us. In this session, explore some of the hands-on activities and ask questions as we investigate our Earth from the unique perspective of satellites. Read more...
  • Successes and Challenges of Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning afternoon mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    Our students are increasingly connected and engaged with various social media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. How can we leverage this to build motivation and facilitate learning of earth science concepts? This workshop will explore considerations and approaches for integrating social media into teaching and learning environments. Participants will be introduced to different styles of social media, share resources and examples, and develop strategies for incorporating social media into their own classrooms. Read more...
  • Spicing Up Your Assessments: Moving beyond exams afternoon mini-workshop, 1:30-4pm.
    Are you completely satisfied with your formative and summative assessments? If so, this workshop is not for you. This workshop will focus on how to develop and implement performance-based assessments in your classes, drawing on empirical support for each strategy (e.g. sort tasks). Performance-based assessments are useful to both K-12 educators looking to assess NGSS crosscutting concepts and college instructors seeking to build conceptual understanding in lower and upper division courses! Participants will have opportunities to share their assessment strategies and goals, and will leave with a plan to implement performance-based assessment in one of their courses. Read more...
  • Oral sessions, 1:30-4:00pm
  • Panel Discussion, 4:30-5:45pm: Grand Challenges in Earth Learning: Perspectives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Friday Events