NESTA Resource Day Breakfast

Lecture: Building meaningful Earth system science education partnerships across the K-20 community

Professor Tanya Furman (The Pennsylvania State University) and Professor Laura Guertin (Pennsylvania State Brandywine)

The study of Earth System Science (ESS) is critical to the future of our country, as this topic is fundamental to the sustainability of the planet and human endeavor. The system-focused nature of ESS promotes integration of mathematical, physical, biological and social sciences to address real-world topics of global importance. Teaching in this arena is challenging, because science education research is just beginning to explore how students understand integrated ideas such as complex system interactions and global climate change. The Earth Science Literacy Initiative recently developed a suite of “big ideas”, termed essential learning elements in some states, to help educators frame our work to emphasize critical concepts. Addressing these big ideas in the classroom represents a change in focus for most educators. We describe one successful approach to improving teaching and learning of ESS by partnering among university faculty members in ESS and Education, graduate students, and pre- and in-service teachers. We encourage K-12 educators to contact university faculty members to build local and regional networks of mutual support and shared leaning around our common professional interests. The higher education ESS community has many resources rich in natural data sets that are available to K-20 teachers and for which lesson plans exist or can be readily developed. National surveys indicate that students value authentic applications of technology in the science classroom, and the university ESS community is broadly eager to help develop inquiry-based learning activities that generate meaningful understanding of the natural world. Together we can build the scientifically-literate citizenry that is informed, energized and capable to face tomorrow’s challenges.

To register for this event, please use the online registration form or the printable form.

Venue name if any: 
Sheraton Philadelphia City Center, Logans I room
Fee for participation: 
Advance purchase tickets required
Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 7:00am to 8:30am

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