What's New @ SERC 2021
The CLEAN site includes more than 800 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 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.
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 includes help for designing individual activities, capstone experiences, and extended field courses. The collection of teaching activities contributed by faculty over the last academic year has now undergone peer review.
Department and Program Guidance
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.
As documentation of their work together over the last 5 years, all three cohorts of Change Agents have written about their goals, activities, and outcomes in the SAGE 2YC project. These program models provide insight into how the three project strands (broadening participation in geoscience/STEM, facilitating students' professional pathways, and supporting the academic success of all students) were realized on individual campuses around the country. The 35 teams represent a wide array of institutional contexts and student demographics and their work offers a variety of models to help other faculty make change in their own programs.
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.
Project EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration) is developing a variety of teaching materials -- from short video tutorials and statistical vignettes to classroom activities -- using large, publicly available datasets to engage students in STEM and improve their quantitative reasoning. Teaching modules span topics such as ecology, limnology, geology, hydrology, and environmental sciences. EDDIE also helps build the associated professional development needed to ensure effective use of the teaching modules. Browse curricular modules, explore statistical vignettes that support you as you teach common statistical topics, and check out the teaching videos and tutorials collection. Sign up to receive email updates about EDDIE webinars, workshops, opportunities, new teaching materials, and more.
Compass - making it easier to find the resources you need
The Compass project is a new effort at SERC to help our users find the teaching resources they need more efficiently and effectively. Through this project we'll be making a wide variety of improvements to the search and discovery tools throughout the sites we host. Through the Compass website you can learn more about our ongoing efforts and even sign up to participate in our research efforts to better understand how our users explore our sites and whether the changes we're making are effective.
GeoClick questions are conceptual, open-ended questions using geoscience images that engage students in reasoning about spatial geoscience phenomena (LaDue & Shipley, 2018, 2020). Administered through a web-based application (e.g., PollEverywhere, Top Hat, etc.), students respond to the questions by clicking directly on the image. The spatial distribution of responses provides instructors and students with rapid spatial feedback about the nature of students' errors and an opportunity to engage in reasoning with peers about the scientific processes involved. Learn more about GeoClick questions and find classroom-ready examples.
The 2020 IODP School of Rock engaged K-12 science teachers from across the US in developing more than two dozen teaching activities focused on what we can learn from scientific ocean drilling. These activities are centered on exploring Earth science via the key concepts from the 2050 Framework for Scientific Ocean Drilling.
The IGUaNA (Introducing Geophysics for Urban and Near-Surface Applications) teaching materials, available by the end of 2021, feature urban environmental, engineering, and forensic questions that can be answered, at least in part, through geophysics. Each IGUaNA module is comprised of three to five "units" and takes about 1-2 weeks of classtime. Three introductory modules focus on the applications of a single geophysical method to questions or problems that affect local communities.
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 Guided Inquiry Introductory Geology Labs collection is a set of labs created in summer 2020, then piloted, reviewed and revised through summer 2021. Instructors can use the Inquiry Level Rating provided for each lab in their consideration of adopting the activities for their courses. Labs cover many common introductory geology lab topics, some of which also have options for online (synchronous and/or asynchronous) instruction. Each lab in the collection provides Teaching Tips to guide instructors in their use, student handouts and verified instructors can access keys to activities using instructions embedded in labs.
The Business And Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability (BASICS) team is developing transdisciplinary curriculum modules for undergraduate students that combine STEM and business, with a focus on the wicked problems of sustainability in a global economy. Modules currently in development feature transdisciplinary learning and approaches to pollution in the Mississippi River watershed and sustainable circular economies. These modules are being piloted, revised, and evaluated for their impact on student knowledge and skills around sustainability. Sign up to receive updates as these materials become available.
More SERC-hosted resources
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.