Beyond Your Classroom: Building Effective Geoscience Activities for Improved Student Learning with a Teacher Audience in Mind

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30am-11:30am E Building 104


Kyle Fredrick, Pennsylvania Western University - California
Heather Goss, American Geophysical Union

Participants will be introduced to the Teach the Earth (TTE) portal to find existing resources to adopt or adapt for their own classrooms. Attendees will develop their own activity and work through the Teach the Earth submission process, with the goal of creating a robust activity to make it through the TTE peer-review process with an "Exemplary" score. We will use the ENGAGE resource at Eos: Science News by AGU, designed to help educators improve science literacy and science news consumption for their students, to establish a collaborative workflow using timely, topical geoscience to formulate new activity ideas. This workshop is designed for teachers of all levels and experience.


Teach the Earth (TTE) is a portal to a clearinghouse of teaching activities running the gamut of Geoscience disciplines. Formats varying from traditional classroom activities to field activities to fully online labs, there is something for everyone. While strongly centered on undergraduate teaching, activities range from middle-school through graduate school.

To continue to keep the collection fresh and offer exciting new materials to our teacher audience, TTE collects activities through an open submission tool. Our site solicits activities from those teachers willing to share their successes and help to shape best practices for teaching geoscience content and improving Earth and environmental science literacy.

This workshop will introduce potential activity authors to the TTE submission tool and guide them through the submission process, the benefits of activity-sharing, and developing effective activities, in general. Additionally, participants will learn about the Eos ENGAGE interface and its potential as a teaching tool.  We will leverage ENGAGE as a common platform to develop ideas for teaching activities with geoscience news for relevance and timeliness.  Authors will develop at least one teaching activity and get the opportunity to see it through the TTE Activity Review process.

Target Audience

This workshop is designed for all teachers and content developers from middle and high school through graduate Geoscience coursework.  Much of our discussion will focus on undergraduate Geoscience content, but teachers from all levels will be encouraged to contribute and the TTE portal hosts activities across a vast array of grades and content areas.


We are excited to work with our participants to help them meet the following goals...

  • Use Eos ENGAGE to find news items of personal or professional interest that may be relevant to their teaching.
  • Collaborate to develop teaching strategies that could employ timely, geoscience news items in their classrooms.
  • Create an activity submission within the Teach the Earth portal.  Deployment is optional, but encouraged.  But all users will establish a submission within the TTE template.
  • Review the activities of 2-3 other participants to offer feedback and recommendations.  Each participant will have their own activity reviewed using the TTE Activity Review rubric.
  • Establish a list of their own ideas or established activities that would be appropriate for future submissions to TTE, now with the knowledge to take action on submitting and helping build the activity collection.


Each day will kick off with a brief warm-up activity.  The following schedule is a tentative breakdown to help participants organize their ideas and work flow.

  • Day 1: Warm-up = Introductions and Ice-breaker
    • Introduction to Teach the Earth and the Activity Collection - Participants will explore the collection to find activities that might suit their classes
    • Activity submission procedure - Participants will explore the submission portal and required entries. They may begin a framework for a submission.
    • Activity review procedure - We'll do a group review of an activity and practice constructive criticism.
    • Introduction to Eos ENGAGE
  • Day 2: Warm-up = News in the Classroom
    • We'll develop activities in small groups based on "news" items for different class types and levels.
    • Activity development - Individual time to develop an activity, flesh out a News activity (small group?), or continue to explore the activity database and come up with a few concrete ideas
    • Group discussion with individual read-out of ideas or activities soliciting feedback
  • Day 3: Warm-up = Goals/Objectives/Assessments
    • Indvidual or small-group Activity completion
    • Peer Review process and critical discussions
    • Closing debrief and future plans

      Next Page »