Oral Session II: Resources for Teaching, Preparing Teachers, and Career Prep

Wednesday 12-2:30pm PT / 1-3:30pm MT / 2-4:30pm CT / 3-5:30pm ET Online

Session Chairs

Melissa Zrada, The College of New Jersey
Lev Horodyskyj, University of the Virgin Islands

Schedule

12:05 PT / 1:05 MT / 2:05 CT / 3:05 ET
The Petroleum Science and Technology Institute and Hildebrand Teacher Leadership Program
Sabrina Ewald, Frisco Independent School District
Dawn Chegwidden, Lewisville High
Hilary Olson, The University of Texas at Austin
Kathy Ellins, The University of Texas at Austin

Show Abstract »

The Petroleum Science and Technology (PST) Institute in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin provides Texas high school STEM teachers with professional development through a week-long, summer science and engineering experience. In summer 2020 the institute migrated online, using Canvas and Zoom. The summer institute aims to help teachers better understand the application of the geosciences and engineering to the petroleum industry, provides information about career opportunities, and makes connections to the global economy and climate. Beyond institute activities, the Hildebrand Petroleum Science and Technology Institute encourages participants to pursue a two-year, mentored journey of professional growth and leadership development - the Hildebrand Teacher Leadership Program. Teachers who participate in the program undertake a series of supported activities that map to ten leadership criteria based on those developed by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Teacher Education Division. In this presentation, we share examples of (1) how we integrated PST activities into our own teaching practice and (2)activities that we are carrying out to satisfy the criteria for Hildebrand Teacher Leadership designation.
12:20 PT / 1:20 MT / 2:20 CT / 3:20 ET
Improving Pre-service Teachers' Data Literacy and Computational Thinking Using Earth Data in Existing Methods Courses
Melissa Zrada, The College of New Jersey
Tiffany Herder, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kristin Hunter-Thomson, Dataspire Education & Evaluation LLC, Rutgers University
Michael Jabot, SUNY College at Fredonia
Elizabeth Joyner, NASA

Show Abstract »

Computing and data permeate our society, and are critical to understanding our Earth. Data literacy is thus essential as an informed and engaged 21st century citizen, and fundamental to understanding the process of science. Integrating data and computational thinking into K-12 classrooms is critical to engage students in authentic science and NGSS practices. However, such integration requires that teachers are competent and confident in their own skills. Research demonstrates that pre-service teachers do not feel adequately prepared to integrate real-world data practices into their instruction. Often, they lack exposure and depth of experience to build their own confidence in these practices and to prepare to teach them due to time constraints and an overstuffed pre-service curriculum.To address this gap, we developed a targeted experience to help pre-service teachers build their confidence in collecting and processing data, as well as visualizing and telling stories from Earth data. We embedded our project into existing Methods courses, limited it to four sessions, and connected students with NASA data scientists and professionals. We piloted the project with two universities' pre-service teacher programs, in both face-to-face and virtual classroom environments. Early results indicate that these sessions improved pre-service teachers' data literacy skills and their self-efficacy in teaching with data and visualizations.In this presentation, participants will hear an overview of the project and gain access to the research- and inquiry-based resources we developed to adapt and use at their home institutions. We will also share our lessons-learned based on the results of our pilot integrations as well as planned next steps.Integrating data into our science classrooms fosters students' data literacy, computational thinking, critical thinking skills, and lifelong interests in science. To set our students up for future success with Earth data, we need to prepare our teachers today!
12:35 PT / 1:35 MT / 2:35 CT / 3:35 ET
Deepening Elementary Teacher Knowledge in "Hard Science" to Enhance Science Teaching
Lisa Mussi, Manitou Springs Elementary
Wendy Abshire, AMS

Show Abstract »

According to the National Academies Press, few elementary school teachers have their terminal degrees in science as compared to other disciplines and as such, can be intimidated by teaching science topics. Earth science can be an approachable topic area for elementary teachers and their students to investigate, yet teachers may lack foundational knowledge themselves and are often unsure of where to access reliable datasets and activities. The American Meteorological Society's (AMS) graduate-level teacher professional development courses (offered with California University of Pennsylvania) provide all K-12 teachers the opportunity to develop their confidence in teaching weather, ocean, and climate science (http://ametsoc.org/amsedu/k12teachers). As an elementary school teacher who has benefitted from these programs, I will share several several units I've developed connected to the atmosphere and hydrosphere that align with both the spirit and content of elementary science NGSS. NGSS encourages teachers to focus on the "Driving Questions" of students rather than just memorizing a set of facts. Student driven curriculum often leads to unexpected questions, and teachers without a background in science may have a hard time guiding student learning when they don't have a science background themselves.Through my engagement in the AMS/Cal U professional development opportunities, I have deepened my content knowledge and better understand the connections between scientific topics and cross cutting concepts as well as having been reenergized to teach the subject matter.Through engagement in these courses, and then becoming a Certified AMS Teacher (http://ametsoc.org/CAT), educators, including elementary teachers', can develop their skills in hard science and increase their confidence, professional connections, and the overall content knowledge from which they draw to connect with and inspire their students.
12:50 PT / 1:50 MT / 2:50 CT / 3:50 ET
Building a Career Pathway Starting in High School
Chelsea Campbell, Red Rocks Community College

Show Abstract »

Industry guidance and input is vital for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The water industry needs fresh, energetic talent to fill the retirement gaps. A Water Quality Management (WQM) concurrent enrollment program strengthens the talent pipeline and creates a career pathway for students. At the end of their senior year, students receive an academic certificate, are prepared to sit for a state licensing exam and can enter a stable, growing career. Curriculum changes, collaborations with school districts, community college administration, and staff from both organizations, and assessment were all a part of creating a successful pathway. Teaching in high school is very different than teaching in college. The average age of students in the college program is 32 years old and most are going through a career change. Therefore, it was important to discuss the WQM curriculum approaches to make sure the college-level outcomes were being met. It was important for both entities that the high school students had the same opportunities as the college students. Therefore, equipment costs and feasibility were brought into the conversation. Enrollment and how to recruit students was the next large piece to the puzzle. After 3 years, the program has grown from 15 to over 80 students. The WQM concurrent enrollment program creates a clear pathway for students to transfer to a 2- or 4-year program with college credits already completed or enter the workforce. Come learn from my mistakes, successes and experiences to expand the career pathway for interested students in your area.
1:05 PT / 2:05 MT / 3:05 CT / 4:05 ET
Implementing Evidence-Based Strategies in an Experiential Learning Course to Enhance Self-Efficacy, geoSTEM Identity, and Career Awareness
Meagen Pollock, College of Wooster
Greg Wiles, College of Wooster
Lisa Kastor, College of Wooster
Missy Schen, College of Wooster

Show Abstract »

In Spring 2021, we offered a hybrid experiential learning course that implemented evidence-based strategies for increasing students' self-efficacy, geoSTEM identity, and awareness of geoscience careers. Students engaged in four types of activities: community partner project, professional training, professional development, and reflection. In the community partner project, students gained authentic hands-on experience solving a local environmental problem related to stormwater runoff management. Alumni and representatives from local environmental firms served as consultants to provide guidance and offer feedback on their work. To support this authentic experience, students completed a state-specific online Stormwater Management Training series, obtaining a professional certificate of completion after each session. In partnership with our Career Planning office, students also participated in 10 professional development activities that covered career resources, application materials, technical and non-technical workforce skills, job searching, and networking. Students critically analyzed their experiences through informal and formal reflections, such as group discussions, written and video responses, and one-on-one meetings with instructors and Career Planning staff. Reflection prompts asked students to consider their professional development, motivations, lived experiences, identities, and self-efficacy. Reflections occurred on a weekly basis with seven formal assignments distributed across the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. Preliminary qualitative analysis of reflections suggests that, by the end of the class, students grew more confident in their abilities to overcome challenges, more likely to see themselves as geoscientists, and more favorably disposed to career paths in the geosciences. In this presentation, we will share course materials, present assessment results from qualitative analysis of reflections and quantitative analysis of pre- and post-survey data, and discuss the evidence-based strategies implemented in the course. Understanding the strategies that are most effective for supporting and retaining students has significant implications for workforce preparation and broadening participation in the geosciences.
1:20 PT / 2:20 MT / 3:20 CT / 4:20 ET
Using the Limits of COVID Digital Learning to Engage Students in Scientific Thinking
Lev Horodyskyj, University of the Virgin Islands

Show Abstract »

Introductory-level science courses introduce students to the discoveries of a particular field and ostensibly promote science literacy. However, the lecture-lab paradigm does not lend itself well to the development of the latter because students do not actually practice applying the scientific process in the classroom or lab setting.One possible method for improving science literacy outcomes is to better define the scientific process, particularly in terms of day-to-day behaviors. For example, students do not normally "hypothesize", but do observe the world around them and make unconscious assumptions to understand those observations. They then build mental models with these observations and assumptions, the latter of which they test by interacting with the world around them. Models are of varying quality and can range from assumption-dominated ("hypothesis") to observation-dominated ("theory").The process of science is often discussed in the classroom, but rarely implemented, even in lab activities. When implemented, there is a strong focus on procedures, methodologies, and equipment usage, often to the detriment of student interest in the topic. Over the past few years, I have been developing a method for engaging students in the scientific process throughout an entire course, a process accelerated by COVID lock-downs and remote learning. I will discuss the curriculum and its application at several universities, including international ones. The overview will include:Observation journals: a method for having students reflect on and think about the real-world observations related to the topic we are studying prior to beginning that topicHome-hack labs: labs using whatever equipment is laying around the house, with a gradual introduction of good lab methodology as the limits of home-hack labs become apparentSimple modeling labs: labs focused around modeling home setups with code that is understandable to non-specialists so they can explore the assumptions and limits of the model
1:35 PT / 2:35 MT / 3:35 CT / 4:35 ET
Climathon: Adapting the "hackathon" model to engage undergraduates, researchers, and members of the community in building climate resilience
Jason Cervenec, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Karina Peggau, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Geddy Davis, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Julia Armstrong, Ohio State University-Main Campus

Show Abstract »

To increase the diversity of students engaged in climate resilience, expose students to soft skills needed in the modern workplace, and facilitate dialogue between university researchers and community members, a successful "hackathon" model for computer programming that was perfected at Ohio State over a decade informed creation of a Climathon. At Ohio State, student interest in climate resilience outpaces opportunities to engage via paid internships. The climathon allows university faculty and staff to increase capacity for a manageable time period and does not require students to accept extended, unpaid internships to participate in climate resilience work. The climathon also helps students grapple with complexities of working in the sector, allows them to see otherwise overlooked connections to their discipline, and exposes them to emerging job opportunities. Likewise, each year more partners approach Ohio State, including local governments, non-profits, state agencies, and companies, to collaborate on climate resilience projects. Some of these partners have financial resources but most of them lack a combination of technical expertise, interdisciplinary knowledge, and access to data sets to complete projects on their own. Through the climathon, community members may develop solutions, network with faculty and staff working in relevant fields, find potential employees, and interact with other agencies, non-profits, and businesses working in the sector. A one-weekend program offers a way for the university to serve as a platform to match unlimited student interest with unlimited community demand to yield benefits for all interested parties, including improved education outcomes and a greater practitioner connectivity. Beyond an organizing committee and community members who volunteer their time, the only other costs are facility fees and prizes. Due to the pandemic, the climathon was conducted virtually this year. This session will provide an overview of the format, sharing of successes, and identification of changes for future iterations.
1:50 PT / 2:50 MT / 3:50 CT / 4:50 ET
Gestalt + Geoscience Data → Getting to the Finish Line: Helping Students Identify Data Patterns More Easily
Kristin Hunter-Thomson, Dataspire Education & Evaluation LLC, Rutgers University
Elizabeth Joyner, NASA

Show Abstract »

There is an explosion of data and data visualizations available online that can connect us to the world around us and address data skills used in K-16 math and science curriculum. The amount of freely available Geoscience data is astounding, inspiring, and sometimes overwhelming to think about integrating into our teaching. One of the biggest challenges is that even with these freely available data and quick graphing options in online platforms, many students still struggle with making sense of the data.Join us as we highlight one aspect of unpacking "Analyzing & Interpreting Data" when it comes to looking at lots of geoscience data: identifying data patterns. We will explore how utilizing online data portals' quick graph features for initial data exploration can help break down the black box of data for students. Then we will discuss how leveraging perception sciences to our advantage through graph annotations can further help students build their data analysis and interpretation skills more deeply. There are many layers to becoming data literate and so many things to explore and do with geoscience data. Building our students' ability to identify data patterns is critical for their overall data and science literacy. We need to remember developing data literacy is a marathon not a sprint; so let's make sure we have running shoes, not track spikes, as we embark on helping our students get there. And let's make sure we are giving our students the range of training and conditioning that they need to successfully get to the finish line.
2:05 PT / 3:05 MT / 4:05 CT / 5:05 ET
Creating a 22-lab OER lab manual in three months: The project coordinator and revision editor's account of how BC instructors came together
Stuart MacKinnon, University of British Columbia
Chani Welch, Okanagan College

Show Abstract »

After the immediate shift in British Columbia (BC) Canada to online delivery in March 2020 for the remainder of the academic semester, many instructors started thinking forward towards the upcoming academic year under similar requirements. A group of instructors came together through BC articulation groups in May to discuss potential plans and approaches to deliver courses, and in particular, labs, for the 2020/21 academic year. As these meetings continued, and more instructors were invited into the group, the idea of a collaborative open educational resource (OER) physical geography lab manual surfaced. By the end of may, the lab manual project began, headed by Stuart MacKinnon as project coordinator. In addition to Stuart, 12 initial other authors stepped forward to volunteer their time and produce new labs for online delivery. A couple months into the project, Chani Welch joined as the 14th author, and in early 2021, she took on the role of revision editor. In only three months, 22 labs and a tutorial were created, reviewed by additional BC instructors, and a trial version of a Pressbook lab manual was created (https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/geoglabs2020/). This lab manual was beta-tested at 11+ institutions in BC, went through thorough revisions in March-June 2021, and will be widely available as an OER via the BCcampus catalogue prior to the start of the 2021 academic year.This presentation will begin with an outline of how the project originated and the various logistics of an extremely rapid multi-institutional OER project from the perspective of the project coordinator. Then, the instructor-flexible design elements that foster a variety of student learning environments and which make this OER lab manual unique will be described. Lastly, the perspective of joining late and being responsible for altering and editing other authors work will be shared by the revision editor.