• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


KEAN, William F., Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201,

An earth science course for Pre-Education majors has existed at UWM for over 15 years. It provides the broad background in earth science needed for K-8 teaching, but from a local perspective. The course is limited to 50 students with two lab sections of 25 students each that meet concurrently immediately following the lecture. This insures that all the students can easily attend the five in class field trips which are possible by combining lecture and lab time. The tone of the course is set in the first two weeks when the students are introduced to simple measurement tools which are then used to collect earth science data at a park on the Lake Michigan shoreline. This field trip also provides common experiences for the students which are drawn on throughout the semester. The additional field trips introduce students to other local earth science resources useful for an urban elementary classroom, but also compliment the course content. Many of the laboratory activities and journal assignments were created with the help of local 3-8 grade science teachers. This facilitates the transfer of college level science to standards based K-8 classroom material.

The presentation will highlight a number of our course activities and field trips. It is important to emphasizing that this is a science content course intended on introducing students to “thinking like an earth scientist” and is not a science methods course which is housed in the School of Education. This is a highly sought after teaching assignment in part because the students are so enthusiastic.

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