Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM
NSF GK-12 PARTNERSHIP FOR EFFECTIVE EARTH SCIENCE EDUCATION
The HEART GK-12 program is a National Science Foundation (NSF) supported fellowship program that links science teachers from local high schools with graduate students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). Teacher and fellow (resident scientist) teams work together to plan learning exercises, to develop action plans, to conduct Action Research and to engage high school students in a rich array of scientific experiences. This unique program is designed to bridge the gap between the university and local schools by involving graduate students directly with the development of ecological and environmental science curricula and by mentoring high school teachers in the scientific research process. Ultimately this program provides an opportunity for graduate students (resident scientists) to impact high school science teachers and students in southern Illinois while gaining invaluable teaching experience. A teacher-fellow team involving a graduate student researcher from the Department of Geology has been working with a ninth grade physical science classroom and teacher to introduce high school students to earth science through hands-on and inquiry-based curricula. Lessons and activities include convection currents, topographic mapping, weathering and erosion, river ecology and surficial processes among other earth science topics. Reflective teaching practices, such as Action Research, are used to better understand and measure the impacts of inquiry-based instruction in the classroom. The dynamic rapport that has developed between the university and secondary education has bridged the gap of academia and opened the door for long-lasting scientific interaction between SIUC and southern Illinois high schools.