2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


LLERANDI ROMÁN, Pablo A., Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University, Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, Room 4108, 100 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098, MARTÍ ARBONA, Ángel, Chemistry, Columbia University, 3000 Broadway, mail code 3157, New York, NY 10027, FIGUEROA, Eric I., Instituto 2000, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Centro de Recursos para Ciencias e Ingeniería, P.O. Box 23334, San Juan, PR 00931-3334, FIGUEROA, Javier, Puerto Rico - Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Centro de Recursos para Ciencias e Ingeniería, P.O. Box 23334, San Juan, PR 00931-3334 and REYES, Patrick, Marine Sciences, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Department of Marine Sciences, Magueyes Laboratories, P.O. Box 908, Lajas, PR 00667, pllerand@purdue.edu

The Puerto Rico-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PR-LSAMP) sponsored three geoscience summer workshops for 80 high school students in Vieques, Orocovis, and Moca, Puerto Rico, from 2002 to 2004. The main objectives were to increase the number of students who successfully enter college to study science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) careers and to provide an active learning environment in which the students were able to explore the multidisciplinary nature of science. Classroom and field activities were developed and implemented by graduate students pursuing careers in science education, geology, chemistry, mathematics, and oceanography at the University of Puerto Rico and Purdue University. The graduate students in conjunction with a PR-LSAMP coordinator served as guides and mentors throughout the workshops. Emphasis was given to the integration of sciences and mathematics, the use of technology, hands-on classroom and field activities, inquiry-based learning, and academic and career advice. Classroom activities on the composition of matter, rocks, minerals, sediments, earthquakes, maps, mathematics, chemistry, marine biology, and the use of graphing calculators and sensors were integrated with field trips to coastal and inland sites in the island of Vieques and Puerto Rico. The impact of human activities on nature was explored directly in the field. Data were collected by informal conversational interviews, observations, journals, drawings, writing prompts, field notes, and questionnaires. At the end of the workshops, students were more interested to explore SMET fields, felt more comfortable doing science research, and changed their ideas about scientists. The results also suggested a positive trend in the students' understanding of science concepts and the geology of Puerto Rico. The need for improvement in mathematics education, focused on the integration of mathematics and science, was evident throughout the workshops. This study proposed general guidelines for the future implementation of geoscience education research projects in Puerto Rico. It also illustrated the importance of geoscience hands-on classroom and field experiences to enhance students' perceptions about SMET disciplines, science research, and scientists.