Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM
URBAN PLANNING ACTIVITIES: ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS BY COMBINING SCIENCE WITH SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES
Urban planning activities are being developed for middle school courses. To assure educational relevance and ease of use, educators are an integral part of middle school activity development. Activity packages include background presentations (videotape and CD-ROM), a large color environmental map, color transparencies, and student worksheets/maps. In the activity, students use environmental and cultural maps to plan the next twenty years of urban growth in their region (Greater Nashville, TN). Each student completes a sketch map of future growth, and these maps are then scanned, digitized, and analyzed spatially to better understand how students combine science with their own personal and social perspectives to solve problems. Activities encourage good citizenship, instill a positive attitude toward science, and communicate both the benefits and challenges associated with rapid urbanization. During the fall of 2002, the middle school activity will be disseminated to two hundred classrooms in the Greater Nashville region. Activity evaluation within this region is particularly appropriate because it is urbanizing extremely rapidly. A wealth of evaluation data is anticipated and should assist further improvement of the activity.