Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
SF-ROCKS: REACHING OUT TO COMMUNITIES AND KIDS WITH SCIENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students who enter college as geoscience majors has become the mission of many universities and organizations. The SF-ROCKS program at San Francisco State University (SFSU), funded by a grant from the NSF-OEDG program, aims to achieve this goal through a multi-faceted collaborative program where SFSU Geosciences Department works in partnership with the San Francisco School District (SFUSD) and the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) to provide teacher training, student education, and mentoring relationships. This program has a research base at SFSU and involves high schools in communities that have highly diverse populations and environmental problems. SF-ROCKS provides 9th grade Integrated Science teachers and their students with lessons ingeology, meteorology, and oceanography unified by a watershed theme via teacher workshops and frequent interactions with college faculty and students. The watershed provides an interdisciplinary focus for collecting and analyzing rocks, soils, water chemistry and rainfall characteristics. SFSU and CCSF student interns assist teachers with the implementation of lessons in the classroom and help to mentor their students. In addition, SFSU faculty and SFSU and CCSF students guide selected high school students in field-based research projects which are presented as posters by the high school students in a professional meeting setting.
During the 2002-2003 school year, SFSU and CCSF student interns worked with teachers at Phillip and Sala Burton High School teaching curriculum enhanced by SF-ROCKS lesson plans, reaching more than four hundred 9th grade students of diverse ethnic backgrounds. From the large number of students exposed to SF-ROCKS lessons through out the school year, 14 students were selected to participate in a two week institute during which research project topics were developed. Project scientists and student interns worked with groups of high school students during the fall semester to carry out and complete 4 research projects, displaying their data and results on posters presented at the American Geophysical Union 2003 fall meeting. This school year, 2003-2004, in addition to Phillip and Sala Burton High School, SF-ROCKS is working with three more San Francisco high schools: George Washington, Thurgood Marshall, and Balboa High Schools.