Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:35 PM


KNOWLTON, Sarah Weinstein, Physical Sciences Department, Rhode Island College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908, CREIGHTON, Laura, Elementary Education Department, Rhode Island College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908, TAMBOE, Ellen, Scituate Middle School, 94 Trimtown Road, Scituate, RI 02857, SAMMONS, James I., Sammons INK, Ltd, 271 Hamilton-Allenton Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852 and MURRAY, Daniel P., Department of Geosciences, Univ. of Rhode Island, 337 Woodward Hall, Kingston, RI 02881,

The Rhode Island Technology Enhanced Science (RITES) program is designed to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in all middle & high schools in Rhode Island. As part of this NSF-MSP (i.e., mathematics and science partnership) program, we have developed technology-based, guided inquiry investigations in the Earth Sciences that are aligned with national and state science standards. The investigations include activities that explore earthquakes, plate tectonics, seasons, and the formation of clouds—topics that are among the most troublesome for students. The activities utilize computer models, physical models, and probe-ware, and are platform and sensor independent with the goal of making them accessible to multiple school districts.

In addition, two sets of summer short courses for middle and high school teachers were developed (“Shake, Rattle, and Rock” and “Seasons, the Sun, and the Gulf Stream”), which integrate Earth system science content, computer-based technologies, and robust guided inquiry strategies. In these teacher workshops, we were able to employ an earth system science approach, such as the incorporation of oceanic heat transport and climate in the Seasons short course and the construction and the application of an “earthquake machine” to the prediction earthquakes in the Shake short course.