What's New @ SERC 2020
The CLEAN site includes more than 750 ready-to-use resources that have been reviewed by educators and scientists for elementary, secondary and higher education settings. New materials include guidance for teaching about climate and energy at the elementary level, resources for teaching in virtual settings, a growing collection of themed STEM Flash e-Newsletters, and a series of webinars, which have been recorded for viewing at your convenience. In addition, guidance is given for creating your own NGSS-aligned units, utilizing CLEAN resources. The resources are complimented by the CLEAN Network: a professionally diverse community of climate literacy stakeholders who engage through weekly teleconferences and an active email list.
The best of the activities at On the Cutting Edge as scored on scientific veracity; alignment of goals, activity, and assessment; pedagogical effectiveness; robustness; and completeness of the ActivitySheet. Check back regularly: The collection will grow as the peer review process continues.
This year, Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB community members continued the peer review of MATLAB based teaching activities. The strongest of these teaching activities are highlighted in an exemplary collection showcasing high quality teaching with MATLAB. Explore the exemplary collection and consider submitting your own MATLAB teaching activity for the next round of peer review.
The ADVANCEGeo Partnership has developed a suite of online resources about relevant research and tested strategies to respond to sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination in the geosciences. New topical resources include (In)Equity in the Time of COVID-19 and Creating Inclusive Virtual Spaces.
EvaluateUR provides an online guided evaluation process designed to be used by programs that support summer research experiences for undergraduates. This year, the website was updated to accommodate the rapidly growing number of participating programs from around the country. The website includes new supporting resources such as a guides, community forum, and FAQ's.
The future of STEM education is in programs that break down the traditional silos between scientific knowledge, essential skills, and human values. Through a workshop process with over 100 educators this project developed descriptions for a set of forward-looking undergraduate STEM degree and certificate programs. These descriptions serve as models for how the programs of the future can fully embrace the challenge of fostering "humanistic knowledge" and "meta knowledge" alongside traditional "foundational knowledge."
As a final part of their work on the SAGE 2YC project, the Change Agents from cohorts 1 and 2 developed resources to synthesize the lessons they collectively learned as a part of the project. Looking across multiple teams' activities, the Change Agents authored pages highlighting effective strategies for work in 6 broad areas: supporting academic success, facilitating career pathways, supporting transfer, broadening participation, developing a regional community, and making lasting change happen in two-year college programs and institutions. The webpages resulting from this work show how different teams tackled similar issues, bring together guidance related to these themes, and include examples drawn directly from the teams' work.
The Traveling Workshops Program (TWP) brings national leaders in environmental, sustainability, and geoscience education to your virtual, campus, regional, or national event. The TWP focuses on opportunities to strengthen both courses and programs including attracting and supporting diverse students. Since 2014, the TWP has visited over 50 institutions and reached more than 750 faculty members in the earth and environmental sciences. Workshop topics include Building Stronger Geoscience and Environmental Science Departments and Programs, Supporting the Success of All Students, Strengthening your Cross-campus Environmental and Sustainability Programs, Strengthening Earth Science in Teacher Education, and Making Your Course More Effective and Societally Relevant.
To support the geoscience education community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, SERC and NAGT have assembled an evolving set of resources to help with teaching online including a Collection of Activities and Materials for teaching geoscience online, Webinars and Virtual Events, as well as recordings of Past Events. We also invite you to Join the Community - sign up for our email list to share resources, discuss strategies, and ask questions about teaching online.
This set of pages is being developed by a diverse group of geoscience field camp directors and faculty to provide the community with advice and resources on how to implement effective and rigorous online field experiences. The resource will include help for designing individual activities, capstone experiences, and extended field courses. Faculty are also contributing teaching materials and course descriptions that they have developed to meet their particular needs and these collections will be available in the near future.
The Environmental STEM (E-STEM) field experience reimagines the traditional undergraduate geology field course as a field and career preparation program for first- and second-year students interested in environmental careers. The project developed a new field course model that includes geology, geomorphology, hydrology, and botany field projects in the Sierra Nevadas, CA; interaction between students and local environmental professionals ("stakeholders"); and post-field career activities. This site provides a collection of field activities, examples of post-field career activities, and an initial badge system model.
GETSI is releasing new teaching materials modules for engaging geoscience undergraduate students in addressing societally important Earth science questions through the use of geodetic data. Check out the teaching modules, for introductory-level, majors-level, classroom, and field courses.
The GET Spatial Learning Network is a collaboration between cognitive scientists, education researchers, and geoscience educators to develop and test educational resources that support student learning of complex spatial concepts. This project produced a set of instructional materials grounded in spatial learning processes that are classroom ready. New activities engage students in learning about feedback loops and using playdoh to understand geologic structures. Diagram-based, visual-spatial reasoning questions on a variety of geosciences topics and a collection of geological Google 360 locations are ready to drop into your lecture or online activity.
Oceans in the News is a new course that uses polar science examples to hep students learn how to interpret scientific data. Students are overloaded with information from various media sources, and often lack both the technical skills to analyze data and the ability to recognize the overarching story the data support. This course uses polar science examples to address these technical and narrative challenges. Students will develop proficiency in data visualization and its application to the analysis of news stories about polar regions.
PENGUIN modules provide a computational framework to allow students to work actively with polar research and data through conduct guided inquiry. Working through a Jupyter Notebook or Excel Sheet, students analyze polar research and data: creating figures, performing calculations, asking questions, and thinking critically about what the data shows. These modules are developed for undergraduate courses in Economics, Computer Science, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Environment Science Tools and Methods, from intro-level to advanced. Modules are typically designed to be completed in two to three class periods (or one to two lab sessions) and include homework assignments. Through these Computational Guided Inquiry (CGI) modules modules, students are given the opportunity to learn about polar research and improve their climate and computational literacy skills while enhancing learning of existing course objectives.
Teaching with Augmented and Virtual Reality (TAVR) is targeted toward instructors in the geosciences and other field-oriented disciplines who would like to learn about using virtual and augmented reality in their teaching. Learn more about how to use AR/VR in your teaching and see the types of research problems that are being pursued. If you are working to utilize AR or VR for teaching in the geosciences, join the community and consider contributing teaching activities that you would like to share with others.
The Teach the Earth portal is an entry point for educators in the geosciences and related fields to find a broad array of teaching and learning resources. Consolidating thousands of resources from dozens of independent projects, this NAGT-managed hub provides Earth educators a "one-stop shop" where they can search multiple Earth Education websites for a specific course or activity or browse resources by topic, level, pedagogic strategy, and much more.
SERC's For Higher Ed portal provides faculty, program leads, department chairs, and learning centers with direct access to resources that help improve teaching and learning, design courses and programs, create inter-institutional networks, support career paths, and more. Recently updated resources in the portal include Broaden Participation in STEM and Making and Sustaining Institutional Change.