GEODE Initiative: Geographic Data in Education

Daniel Edelson, Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy, Institute for the Learning Sciences

The Geographic Data in Education (GEODE) Initiative is dedicated to the improvement of Earth and environmental science education through the use of data visualization and analysis tools to support inquiry-based pedagogy. The goal is to demonstrate that scientific visualization, incorporated into inquiry-based learning, can enable students of diverse abilities to develop an understanding of complex scientific phenomena. This project designs and evaluates learning software, develops and field tests middle and high school curricula, and investigates the process by which students learn to make sense of scientific visualizations. Software products are WorldWatcher, a tool which supports the study of climate and global climate change, and MyWorld GIS, a vector-based geographic information system software that runs in Java on Windows NT, 98, ME, 2000, and MacOS X. Curricula are The Global Warming Project, an eight week, stand alone unit in which middle school students learn about many of the scientific factors that contribute to the controversial global warming debate, and Looking At The Environment, a year long, visually intensive high school environmental science curriculum centered on three key issues: the relationship between population growth and resource availability; electricity generation and meeting the demand for energy; managing water resources for agricultural use and human consumption.

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Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Topics: Human Dimensions/Resources, Climate
Theme: Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Climate Change, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science