2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM


LANDIS, Carol, Education Outreach, Byrd Polar Research Center, 108 Scott Hall, 1090 Carmack Rd, Columbus, OH 43210-1002 and CODISPOTI, Julie E., Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, 108 Scott Hall, 1090 Carmack Rd, Columbus, OH 43210-1002, codispoti.8@osu.edu

Any online search for information about climate change returns too many hits, some of which look reliable, but may be completely biased or inaccurate. What’s a teacher to do? Following a teacher workshop at The Ohio State University in 2007, a group of three teachers took it upon themselves to seek reliable information and make it available to their colleagues (and K-12 students) in an organized manner. The result is an interactive DVD “Understanding Climate Change” that was developed with partial support from the National Science Foundation’s Science & Technology Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS).

The DVD provides the background about the Earth as a system, the grand cycles (N, C, H20, S, P, and Milankovitch), and the current imbalance of incoming and outgoing energy, along with a history of climate change awareness. Then separate chapters present different categories of evidence of change, including: remote sensing, oceanographic, glacial, ice core, meteorological, and biological. It has a full glossary, and includes self-assessments for each chapter. All figures and graphics are fully referenced.

The disc has been used in science classes with 7th graders (as a teacher-directed activity) and with high school students who used it as a reference. It also served as the basis of content for a wholly online class (no face-to-face sessions) in Summer session ’09 offered for graduate credit under contract with the School of Earth Sciences and the Office of Continuing Education at Ohio State. Participants in the online course included teachers, a carbon offsets marketer, members of non-governmental organizations, Ph.D. students, and a lab manager, among others.

This session will offer lessons learned from the development and implementation of the disc, as well as a discussion of approaches that facilitate metacognition about fundamental science concepts and interactions within the Earth as a system.