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. 11
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM

Earth2Class: How a Research Institution Can Help Bring the Earth to the Classroom

PASSOW, Michael J., Dwight Morrow HS, 274 Knickerbocker Rd, Englewood, NJ 07631, ASSUMPCAO, Cristiana M., Science, Colegio Bandeirantes, Sao Paulo, 04105-000, Brazil and BAGGIO, Frederico D., Grupo Baggio Ltda, Sao Paulo, 04538-905, Brazil, michael@earth2class.org

For more than a decade, the Earth2Class Workshops for Teachers (E2C) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO) have created a variety of ways to bring the Earth into the classroom. We have, to date, provided 88 Saturday programs through which more than 60 LDEO scientists and grad students have shared results of research and the passion that drives their efforts . Archived versions of these workshops on our website, http://www.earth2class.org, provide participating teachers and others who could not attend the live presentations access to the scientists' investigations and pertinent classroom activities. Through special school year and summer conferences, E2C teachers have interacted with scientists and colleagues to produce a vast array of online resources. These range from convenient lists of key ideas to be learned in middle and high school Earth Science courses to lesson and lab plans to PowerPoints for student and teacher use to links for pertinent web sites. Networking at Workshops and afterwards has fostered professional growth at all levels of their careers, from grad students and first-year teachers to those with ten, twenty, or thirty years of experience. E2C has also been effective in connecting classroom teachers with opportunities available through professional societies, government science agencies, and other science support projects. Although sponsored at times by grants, this outreach program has also operated through nominal fees paid by the participants. Keys to the success of E2C, and vital to other efforts to create similar programs elsewhere, have been the willingness of scientists to present their discoveries in understandable ways to non-scientists, the desire of teachers to come to the Lamont campus on a weekend, and a coordinator who can bridge the gap between research scientists and classroom teachers. E2C workshops and related activities will continue at LDEO as long as these three components exist.