Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM
GEOLOGY OF THE SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY – A PILOT PARTNERING PROJECT TO ADDRESS THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA STANDARDS FOR PRIMARY, MIDDLE, AND SECONDARY EARTH SCIENCE TEACHERS
The Capital Area Institute for Mathematics and Science and the Pennsylvania Geologic Survey recently partnered to enhance the earth science curriculum for Pennsylvanias local primary, middle, and secondary earth science teachers through a 5-day, field-intensive workshop. The workshop was designed to address the new Pennsylvania educational standards for Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, and Geography and provide local examples of geologic phenomena and earth processes. A new challenge for the five Survey instructors was to make this an inquiry-based learning experience. Pennsylvanias middle and lower Susquehanna Valley provides a unique geological and topographical laboratory in Pennsylvania where sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks can be observed as well as classical geologic and topographic forms. Through field examination, observation and inquiry, participants learned how to recognize geologic and topographic features and to propose rational scientific explanations for these features and relate them to daily experiences. Ten major competencies were addressed such as geologic time, cycles, features (layers, joints, faults, and folds), processes (valleys, slopes, mountains, and watersheds), resources (groundwater, minerals, and energy), hazards (sinkholes and landslides), as well as rock types and composition, fossils, the scientific method, and the integrated aspect to earth science. The Survey provided reference materials, student geology kits, safety equipment, 45 hours of contact time, and transportation for the eleven pilot teachers. Three credit options were available to the students: 3 hours graduate credit from Shippensburg University, 3 hours of CAIU credit, or 45 hours of inservice credit. At the conclusion of each day, participants demonstrated an understanding of the major concepts and their connection to specific standards. Each participant kept a field journal documenting experiences, observations, and relating them to the state standards. The final assignment was to develop an inquiry-based, age-appropriate lesson plan that relates one or more of the competencies to the state standards in earth, environmental science and geography and share them with all participants.