2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 22
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

G-Camp for Teachers – Introducing 4TH – 12TH Grade Teachers to Current Geological Knowledge In a Field Setting: A Partnership Between Academia and Industry

GIARDINO, John R.1, SCHROEDER, Carolyn2, VITEK, John D.3, GIARDINO, Mary F.4, REGMI, Netra3 and ZHUANG, Kelin3, (1)Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, Campus 3408, College Station, TX 77843-2261, (2)TAMU-CS Regional Collaborative, Center for Mathematics and Science Education, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, (3)Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, (4)Bryan, TX 77802, rickg@tamu.edu

Earth is experiencing rapid dynamic changes that seriously impact human society. Today, more than ever before, we need individuals who appreciate and understand the processes that form Earth and the resources that contribute to the quality of human life. In Texas, geosciences are taught in grades 4-12 as part of the science component of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Recently, the Texas State Board of Education included selected Earth science courses as part of science requirement for graduation. These opportunities mandate that teachers understand geological processes and outcomes and be able to teach and excite students about the geosciences.

Texas A&M University and industry (Halliburton; Chevron; ConocoPhilips; ExxonMobil; Hess; Devon; Baker Atlas – Baker Hughes) have partnered in a unique approach to provide this knowledge to teachers through a field-camp experience. Inquiry-based teaching is central to the National Science Education Standards and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Because the field is the place for teaching and learning, it served as the backdrop for our inquiry-based teaching and learning. Field-focused exercises were developed by the teachers using inquiry-based teaching to help their students develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking with a geoscience perspective.

Thirty teachers were selected to participate in the program. The teachers were introduced to Earth Systems, modern barrier island complexes; volcanic processes; aeolian, karst, fluvial, mass movement, glacial, coastal processes; tectonics, various environments of deposition; resources obtained through drilling and mining, and human-induced hazards in the environment. Three workshops offered each year in the fall, spring and early summer serve as a follow up to the field activity. The workshops provide teachers with direct experiences and learning activities involving real-world applications in the geosciences that integrate math and science. The mission of G-Camp is to help create a well-educated, highly-qualified, highly-motivated, visionary, ethical geoscience workforce.