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. 2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM

The Geological Society of America's Teacher Advocate Program

MCLELLAND, Christine V., Geological Society of America, GSA Education and Outreach, GSA Headquarters, 3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, CO 80301-9140 and LEWIS, Gary, GSA Education and Outreach, 3300 Penrose Place, PO Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301, CMcLelland@geosociety.org

The Geological Society of America, in accordance with our mission and stated goal to strengthen the role of geoscience in formal and informal education, has developed the Teacher Advocate Program (TAP). The purpose of TAP is to promote geoscience to school students and their families through active and enthusiastic teacher advocates. TAP was developed in 2003 with the initial plan of creating a cadre of excellent teaching resources on CD-ROM for middle-high school teachers that covered a range of basic earth science topics, called the Explore Earth Science series. We have at present developed 17 of these topical CDs, a series of CD-ROMs with cut-out models of aspects of geoscience (Geology on Paper Series), and a poster on basic rock types. We also actively maintain an education section of the GSA Web site that contains lesson plans, links to lesson plans, and links to resources for geoscience teachers. The site is hugely popular among earth science teachers, who contribute to the content, and receives well over 30,000 hits per year.

The second phase of TAP has been to operate teacher training sessions at science teacher conferences around the nation. So far over 1,325 teachers have undergone training and they estimate that they will use the program materials with over 132,000 students over the next school year, with a total impact to over 1.1 million students across the nation so far. The program has also taken small groups of teachers on GeoVenture field trips to Hawaii, Iceland, Costa Rica, and Namibia in association with partners. This aspect of the program is funded fully by the teacher participants. Evaluations of teachers who attend these trips show that the teachers who have these experiences become some of geosciences strongest advocates in the classroom.