2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


SAVINA, Mary E., Department of Geology, Carleton College, One N. College St, Northfield, MN 55057, OLSON, Todd, Admissions Office, Carleton College, 100 S. College St, Northfield, MN 55057, HALL, Melissa A., Crossroads Learning Ctr, Sandstone, MN 55072 and JOHNSON, Craig, Science Department, Northfield High School, 1400 South Division St, Northfield, MN 55057, msavina@carleton.edu

Environmental Science @Carleton brings together 18-24 mainly urban high school students and six to eight high school teachers to work on collaborative research projects with Carleton faculty and community partners. During the first week of the program, College faculty mentor each of the urban high school teachers, and together, they design the research projects, melding their individual interests and those of community partners. This pairing allows the teachers to delve into the world of scientific research in a variety of fields, and to create networks with their communities and higher education institutions to support further research, sometimes using equipment they could not afford for their own labs. High school students join the teachers and faculty during the final two weeks of the program. The students are introduced to ecosystem studies in two contrasting environments and, in small groups, research a specific topic, hypothesize about the possible outcomes, collect and analyze data, and then synthesize their findings into a public poster/oral presentation session. The students also assess societal implications of particular problems, such as lead contamination of soils near a highway, functioning of an artificial wetland, effects of exotic invasive species, PCB contamination in fish, etc. These collaborations benefit all of the participants: the high school students learn field and lab research skills on projects with multifaceted implications, the high school teachers begin projects they can continue with their school-year students, college faculty try out possible new avenues for their own research, and community partners gain practical knowledge about environmental problems in the community.