DATATOOLS: A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO FACILITATE THE EFFECTIVE USE OF EARTH SCIENCE DATA AND ANALYSIS TOOLS IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CLASSROOM
In order for students to effectively engage with scientific data to answer questions about the real world, it is imperative that their teachers are 1) comfortable with the data and the tools used to analyze it, and 2) feel prepared to support their students in this complex endeavor. The Tools for Data Analysis in the Middle School Classroom (DataTools) professional development program supports middle school teachers in 1) learning to use a set of freely or commonly available tools with a wide range of Web-based Earth science data, 2) exploring how to teach the use of these tools to their students, 3) identifying the data that they can use to teach topics required by their curricula, and 4) implementing investigations using these data and tools in their classrooms.
In this presentation, we will describe the elements of the DataTools program and the Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET, http://serc.carleton.edu/eet), a Web-based resource that supports Earth system education for teachers and students in grades 6 through 16. The EET provides essential support to DataTools teachers as they use it to learn to locate and download Web-based data and use data analysis tools. We will also share what we have learned during the first two years of this three-year program.