2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 25
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


METZGER, Ellen P.1, SEDLOCK, Richard1, SCHULTZ, Greg2, PAGLIERANI, Ruth2, HAWKINS, Isabel2 and O'SULLIVAN, Kathleen3, (1)Geology, San Jose State Univ, San Jose, CA 95192-0102, (2)Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, (3)Secondary Education, San Francisco State Univ, San Francisco, CA 94132, metzger@geosun.sjsu.edu

Because the precollege Earth science curriculum typically includes astronomy, geologists who teach Earth science courses for pre-service teachers are often faced with the challenge of presenting topics they know little about. A two-year grant from NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF) has helped geologists at San Jose State University (SJSU) improve the space science component of Earth science instruction for both prospective and practicing teachers. Begun in 1997, SECEF is a partnership between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Many of SECEF's early efforts focused on the development of educational resources. More recent efforts have been directed towards disseminating and facilitating constructive use of these resources through pre-service and in-service teacher education.

The first year of the grant to SJSU focused on expansion and enhancement of the astronomy portion of Earth Systems and the Environment, an introductory course for pre-service teachers. Astronomers at UC Berkeley provided instructional resources and subject matter guidance for teaching about planets, galaxies, spectroscopy, black holes, and space weather.

The second year emphasized in-service education through a series of Sun-Earth Connection Astronomy workshops for teachers. These workshops were co-taught by astronomers and educators from UC Berkeley, geologists from SJSU, and a science educator from San Francisco State University, allowing incorporation of diverse perspectives and pedagogical approaches. Among other things, teachers explored Sun-Earth-Moon geometry, made observations with simple solar telescopes, constructed and used a sundial to track the Sun's motion, and explored print and Internet resources from SECEF and other sources. The geologists supplied a terrestrial perspective, exploring how the Sun's energy affects the Earth system through such topics as ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, and climate change.