Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM
CLASSROOM ROCKS: A SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT TO INCREASING PEDAGOGICAL TOOLS FOR LOCAL EARTH SCIENCE TEACHERS AND K-12 STUDENT INTEREST IN GEOLOGY
Got rocks? Many K-12 teachers do not. Physical interaction with rock and mineral samples in the classroom is important in getting students about excited about geology and promoting their learning. Surveys by the authors of local K-12 teachers confirmed that these teachers do not have access to quality rock and mineral samples. Subsequent surveys found that these teachers would be interested using university-owned rock samples through a free lending program available through USI. The purposes of this are to make high-quality samples readily available to local teachers and to engage K-12 students in the geosciences through hands-on interaction with these samples in the classroom and through dynamic, inquiry-based labs and activities utilizing these samples. We collected quality rock and mineral samples and to organize them into educational rock kits with relevant, inquiry-based lesson plans that meet many state educational standards. Samples and fossils were collected from local sources, to impart a sense of geology in one’s “backyard.” Samples of rocks rare in Indiana, such as igneous and metamorphic samples, were collected in the American West on a major field excursion. The educational kits include thin-sections of a many of the samples collected, and the slides will be available along with petrographic microscopes. Detailed guides with descriptions of all the included samples and lesson plans utilizing the kits were developed. Details of the guides and lesson plans, plans for the authors to test the educational kits in local classrooms this spring, and plans to test the kits on K-12 teachers at a local summer training workshop will be presented. The kits will be available to area schools via the Southwestern Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (SwISTEM) equipment lending trucks. This project is made possible through the SwISTEM Early Undergraduate Research Program (EURP). Major details of these two unique programs will also be included.