This past year, the E2FEW project has benefited tremendously from contributions of undergraduate research assistants supported through UNL’s Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) program. Over the course of the past 12 months, the UCARE program has funded 4 undergraduate students to collect and analyze data, as well as disseminate project activities and research findings, in collaboration with the E2FEW project team. We are very thankful for the hard work of Holly White, Brooke Mott, Lexy Polivanov, and Saleh Husseini to videorecord CASNR classes, score student work, run stats, and develop posters for sharing our project work with the UNL community. We look forward to Holly and Brooke continuing their work this year as part of the E2FEW project team and Forbes group!
In June, the WELS2 project team held our second 1-week workshop for more than 45 Nebraska middle- and high school science teachers from over a dozen school districts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Innovation Campus. Building on the previous summer workshop, teachers learned groundwater quality sampling techniques, used a computer-based, data-driven water balance model to explore regional water challenges, toured the Nebraska Water Sciences Laboratory, and developed curricular resources to use these tools in their own classrooms. Teachers also had the opportunity to participate in the workshop as part of a UNL graduate course – SCIL 800 Experiential Learning in Food, Energy, & Water II. A special thanks goes out to colleagues Trenton Franz, Dan Snow, and Dana Divine for working with teachers to utilize extraordinary UNL resources and tools, as well as to Tina Vo and Kate Gibson for helping plan and coordinate the workshop. We greatly appreciate funding from the USDA-NIFA PD-STEP program and Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant program through the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, both of which have made this program possible.
At the end of September, our CliMES team came together with a group of high school teachers from our district partner – Lincoln Public Schools – to begin collaborating on development of the CliMES curriculum module. We are working to develop a 6-week module designed around EzGCM for LPS’ 9th-grade Geoscience course. The proposed module will be aligned with national, state, and district standards, with a particular emphasis on HS-ESS3-5:
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
We’re looking forward to continuing these discussions and working with our collaborating teachers as we move forward with development of the curriculum module, planned for pilot implementation in spring, 2018.
In June, the WELS2 project team held a 1-week workshop for more than 30 Nebraska middle- and high school science teachers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The workshop focused on supporting teachers to learn to use a computer-based groundwater modeling tool, the Hydrogeology Challenge, and to develop instructional materials and supports that would enable them to use this tool within their existing science curriculum.
As part of the workshop, teachers explored the Next Generation Science Standards, conducted water-related investigations, learned about the scientific practice of modeling, and worked on curricular resources to support their own teaching. Teachers also had the opportunity to participate in the workshop as part of a UNL graduate course – NRES 898 Teaching and Learning about Water Systems. We thank our project partners from the Groundwater Foundation and Water for Food Global Institute for contributing to making this workshop a successful experience for all involved. We look forward to continuing to work with NE teachers through ongoing academic year activities and a teacher research experience in summer, 2018.
Today we wrapped up our 18-month Water for Elementary Teachers of Science in Nebraska (NE WETS) project with 2 consecutive days of workshops held at Hastings Middle School. The project provided us to opportunity to work with an amazing group of K-6 teachers from in and around Hastings, NE. Thanks go out to wonderful UNL project team members Tina Vo and Tonya Bernadt, Chad Dumas, Ph.D., HPS Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and the teachers who made the project possible.
Thanks to a fantastic group of elementary teachers for all their hard work in this first summer of the Water for Elementary Teachers of Science (Nebraska WETS) project. We had a great workshop series in June and August of this summer focused on scientific modeling, formative assessment, and water science. The summer component was also offered as graduate course credit (NRES 898 – Teaching and Learning about Water Systems). We appreciate the support of Hastings Public Schools for being a wonderful district partner and allowing us access to amazing facilities at Hastings Middle School.
In the summer of 2012, 36 3rd-6th grade teachers from 4 area districts and 14 buildings joined RAES project team members Cory Forbes, Christopher Soldat, Jeanne Bancroft, Kathy Long, Charlie Stanier, Mandy Biggers, Jaime Sabel, and Laura Zangori for 7 days of collaborative work to begin learning to use Reflective Assessment, a formative assessment strategy developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) for use with FOSS science modules. The summer institute focused on the Earth science content strand, within which teachers engaged with relevant content as learners, experimented with engaging in ‘high-leverage’ formative assessment practices, and planned to begin implementing Reflective Assessment in their enactment of their Earth science modules in the 2012-2013 academic year. We want to again thank all project partners, including the University of Iowa (UI) Colleges of Education and Engineering, Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) and Van Allen Science Teaching Center (VAST Center), LHS at the University of California-Berkeley, the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), Washington Community Schools (WCSD), Clear Creek Amana Community School District (CCACSD), Highland Community School District (HCSD), and St. James School. A special thanks go out to Mark Brockmeyer and the Iowa City Schools for allowing us to hold the Summer Institute at the ICCSD Educational Services Building and to Kim Lange for joining us in July (while visiting from Germany) and providing helpful feedback.
The first PIESC3 summer institute was held in Davenport, Iowa during the week of June 13. The PIESC3 team had the opportunity to work with an extraordinary group of 20 elementary teachers from the Davenport Community School District (DCS) around engaging students in scientific practices and inquiry in the classroom.
The PIESC3 (Promoting Inquiry-based Elementary Science through Collaborative Curriculum Co-Construction) project has been funded by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and University of Iowa. The project involves a quasi-experimental, non-randomized two group pre-/post- repeated measures research design, as well as in-depth case studies, over two years to investigate the effectiveness of the PIESC3 professional development program for elementary (K-5) teachers and to learn more about how elementary teachers use existing science curriculum materials to plan and engage in inquiry-based science. This project will be carried out in collaboration with the Davenport Community School District (DCS) and Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency.