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

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM


OROSZI, Terry L., Biological Sciences, Wright State Univ, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, OH 45435 and BRAME, Roderic I., Wright State Univ, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001, terry.oroszi@wright.edu

Many Earth Science inquiry based activities have been developed to meet the need for conceptual understanding and intellectual development. Few activities contain the flexibility that is needed for accessibility of ALL students. The C.L.A.S.S. (Creating Laboratory Access for Science Students) project, funded by N.S.F., has created lessons that are inclusive, inquiry based, and intellectually developing. They are in the true sense "hands-on minds-on" and are aligned with the NSES, Project 2061 (AAAS), and current science education reform strategies. Our efforts are to produce curricula that are fully inclusive of ALL science students. These activities are making opportunities for students to learn the skills necessary to participate in scientific research. We developed a fossil activity that is dependent on touch to teach basic discrimination used for fossil identification. Further levels of discovery include taxonomy, taphonomy, and other related paleontological subdisciplines. The use of Braille or vocal explanations, along with different forms of the fossil makes this paleontology exercise one that the visually impaired can fully participate in.

This activity was first designed to overcome visual impairments because most fossil exercises are heavily if not totally dependent on visual acuity. During the invention of this activity we discovered that not only can this be used for students with visual impairments but also a powerful tool for ALL students to learn basic concepts associated with fossil identification and paleontology. These concepts lend themselves to extended investigations in diversity, paleoecology, and evolution. Besides addressing the Paleontological concepts the activity can be used for developing higher order thinking skills, integration of other related sciences, and teaching the scientific method all of which are necessary for engaging ALL students in geoscience research partnerships.