2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)
Paper No. 116-5
Presentation Time: 2:45 PM-3:00 PM

"SPICING" UP GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION: UTILIZING INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS TO ENGAGE MINORITIES AND FEMALES IN GEOSCIENCES THROUGH INQUIRY-BASED COLLABORATIVE EDUCATION

GRAWE, Larisa R., Department of Zoology/FLMNH, Univ of Florida, 223 Bartram Hall, POB 118525, Gainesville, FL 32611-8525, lgrawe@ufl.edu and GRAY, Felica, Lincoln Middle School, 1001 S.E. 12th Street, Gainesville, FL 32641

Science Partners in Inquiry-based Collaborative Education (SPICE), a National Science Foundation GK-12 sponsored program, develops and utilizes numerous collaborations to help improve middle school students’ appreciation for the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through the development of internal University of Florida collaborations and partnerships with the School Board of Alachua County, collaborative teams link three under-served Gainesville Middle Schools with diverse intellectual and material resources. Due to declines in the number of female and minority students interested in science, particularly females at the middle school level, the SPICE Program aims to encourage students to pursue careers in the STEM disciplines by providing role models capable of captivating student interests through active discovery and the subsequent development of science process skills. Inquiry-base lessons utilizing multiple learning styles are necessary to improving the cognitive and affective development of students requiring non-traditional learning styles and are potentially effective at addressing students with certain disabilities.

Zoology and Environmental Engineering Graduate Fellows, partnered with teachers, produce creative inquiry-based modules with the unifying theme of “Ecosystem Health and Sustainability.” Diverse graduate interests enable the development of unique lessons designed to meet state and National Science Education Standards. The distribution of modules to teachers both inclusive and exclusive of the SPICE Program allows for the wider dissemination of educational materials. Innovative geoscience curriculum, produced as part of a collaborative teacher-fellow partnership, organizes all science content into two central topics, 1) the human organism, and 2) the earth as an organism; consistently assembling the two dichotomies as one entity, under the theme of Ecosystem Health and Sustainability. The effects of climate change on ecosystem health and sustainability are explored through the geosciences. Integrating the geosciences into interdisciplinary inquiry-based collaborative modules can potentially help encourage females, minorities, and students with disabilities to pursue careers in the geosciences.

2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 116
Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities in the Geosciences: Continuing Issues and Innovative Solutions
Colorado Convention Center: 603
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Monday, 8 November 2004

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, No. 5, p. 278

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