Gary Varrella

Extension - Spokane County

Washington State University-Spokane

Dr. Gary F. Varrella received his bachelor’s, teaching credential and masters from  UC-Davis, and his doctorate from the University of Iowa (1997). His areas of expertise are 4-H youth development, expertise in teaching, emphasis of STEM and science & society, formal and informal learning, evaluation, and agricultural education. He is an associate professor at WSU as an Extension 4-H Educator. Dr. Varrella has been a high school teacher, a state Ag Ed Curriculum Specialist, managed NSF projects, was a science teacher educator at Ohio University (Athens) and George Mason University (Fairfax), and worked in the developing nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan. He has co-edited/co-authored 10 international texts, written one monograph, five book chapters, and published five peer-reviewed journal articles.

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Course Modules (5)

Soils, Systems, and Society part of Soils, Systems, and Society
This inquiry based module is designed for use in a preservice K-8 science methods course, but Units 1-3 could easily be modified for other types of courses. The module promotes geoscientific and systems thinking ...

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Unit 3: Soil Investigation and Classification part of Soils, Systems, and Society
In this unit, students work in small groups to collect and record data about soils using various soil testing and classification methods at a series of stations. The methods they use are relevant to the societal ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Unit 4: Soils, Systems and Society Kit Presentation part of Soils, Systems, and Society
In this unit, students construct and present a standards-based, K–8 Soils, Systems, and Society Kit that consists of lessons and supporting materials around a locally and broadly relevant societal issue that ...

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Unit 1: Introduction to Soils and Society part of Soils, Systems, and Society
In this unit, students engage in a scaffolded class discussion designed to encourage students to move from a broad focus on science relevancy to locally important societal issues relevant to soils. They then relate ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 2: Mapping Patterns part of Soils, Systems, and Society
In this unit, students work in small groups to examine and analyze spatial data relevant to soils to identify patterns. They use their analyses to add detail to their Earth systems concept maps and describe how ...

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Other Contribution (1)

Assessment of Module Goals part of Soils, Systems, and Society
Overall Module Assessments Summative Assessment The overarching summative assessment for this module is the "Soils, Systems, and Society Kit" (Kit) and presentation. For this assessment, students ...

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