Artist rendition of solar system bodies. Not to scale. Details
Earth and Space Science Course

This course, aimed at middle school and high school teachers, will help participants develop an understanding of planetary accretion and evolution and the place of the Earth in the solar system, and explore methods of inquiry-based teaching.

The science content will include the current state of understanding of a variety of Earth and planetary topics, describe the scientific methods used in recent studies, offer stories of the scientists involved, and provide discussion of the data used and the degree of certainty in the scientific conclusions obtained. Each topic covered will be described in the context of comparative planetology, including planets around other stars.

Course content will be driven by the Massachusetts Department of Education's Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework (2006) and the National Science Education Standards (1996). Each workshop day will begin with a presentation in one of the curriculum framework areas, followed by brainstorming in groups over how the material might be incorporated into the classroom.

Participants will develop teaching activities that will be presented to the class on the final day, uploaded to the course website, and piloted during the school year. Designing units is a major course activity, and carrying them out with students is a central course goal. The website will serve as a point of connection among teachers beyond the course. Participants are encouraged to upload to the website enhancements, additions, and notes on the effectiveness of activities or approaches. This material will be available for other teachers to use.

This course will be offered several times over the coming years. Use these links to choose the appropriate year.

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