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. 30
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Teaching Southern Nevada Geology: An Inquiry-Based Teacher Workshop on Local Geology

RUDD, Lawrence P., Education, Nevada State College, 1125 Nevada State Drive, Henderson, NV 89002 and ROWLAND, Steve, Geoscience, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154, lawrence_rudd@nsc.nevada.edu

With the goal of increasing teacher knowledge and student interest in local geology, a two week summer workshop was developed jointly between Nevada State College, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the Clark County School District. The workshop sessions emphasize inquiry-based lab activities and field trips to sites of local geologic significance. Participating teachers come from local middle schools and high schools, with an emphasis on recruiting teachers from local high-needs secondary schools. Teachers are presented with materials, knowledge, and examples to support the development of a constructivist approach to teaching earth science topics. Teachers are involved in inquiry-based lab activities and provided with materials and support to use workshop labs in their classrooms. The development and application of field trip podcasts for sites of local geologic interest and virtual field trip videos encourages participating teachers to bring local geology to life in their classrooms through the use of appropriate technologies.

Surveys of participating teachers, as well as pre- and post-tests, clearly indicate that teachers increase their knowledge of local geology through their involvement in this workshop. Teacher knowledge of local sites appropriate for geology-based field trips was also improved. During the academic year following the 2007 summer workshop all participating teachers involved their students in labs and field trips involving local geology. This workshop on Southern Nevada geology provides a model for collaboration between various local educational institutions; improving secondary-level science education through the application of appropriate technologies to the study of local geologic phenomena of high interest to both students and teachers.