SLATES: SERVICE-LEARNING FOR TWO-YEAR AND FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE STUDENTS IN THE EL PASO, TEXAS REGION (2017-2021)
Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Recreation and Wellness Center Beacon Room
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Poster Session
Richard Langford, University of Texas at El Paso
Diane Doser, University of Texas at El Paso
Joshua Villalobos, El Paso Community College
Rob Rohrbaugh, El Paso Community College
The SLATES (Service Learning Activities Targeting the Earth Sciences) program is focused on expanding service learning opportunities for undergraduates at the Hispanic serving University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College (EPCC) in the El Paso region. We developed short-term activities (<10 hrs/semester) to target students in introductory geoscience courses, as well as long-term (>10 hrs/semester) activities for majors to apply geoscience and environmental science outside the classroom. Short-term activities have included organizing local geology field trips for EPCC and UTEP students, family and friends, serving as tour guides for the El Paso Water Utilities' TecH2O outreach center, and developing lesson plans on El Paso's groundwater for 4th grade students. These activities involved ~1100 participants (students, friends, families) and ~1200 K-12 students between fall 2017 and spring 2020. Longer-term activities included volunteering with two state parks and other local non-profit agencies, tutoring UTEP geoscience majors, and involvement in K-12 outreach. Fifty-two students have participated in these longer-term activities between fall 2017 and spring 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the cancellation of in-person activities between spring 2020 and summer 2022, students were able to continue some service-learning projects virtually. Virtual projects included developing hands-on video demonstrations of scientific concepts for K-12 educators, holding a virtual celebration of Earth Science Week, and creating educational brochures and field trip guides.