INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHERS: INCORPORATING SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND METHODOLOGY FROM THE PANAMA CANAL PROJECT INTO THE CLASSROOM
On a daily basis, teachers reflected on what had been learned: discussions, journaling, and blogs allowed time for further questions and investigations. Participants also regularly collaborated on ideas for classroom activities and lessons to be implemented in Santa Cruz County high school classrooms.
Teachers had a unique opportunity to practice some of their lesson ideas, via a partnership with the St. George School in Panama City. After visiting the school and observing classrooms, the California teachers led a class of fourth graders to the Gatun Formation, a Miocene, shallow seaway deposit. The fourth graders were led in an investigation of the area and the numerous fossils present. Some of these lessons will be adapted for the high school classroom in California.
The unique teacher experiences in Panama, when translated to the classroom, will facilitate improved student understanding of the complex nature of science across a broad spectrum of STEM topics as well as highlight the processes involved in scientific inquiry, the necessity of critical thinking skills, and the importance of collaboration within the international scientific community. Upon returning to the classroom in the fall, teachers will incorporate lesson ideas into their curriculum, maintaining regular contact with the professional learning community that was established during the time in Panama. This poster describes lessons developed by the participating teachers in a variety of science disciplines, including biology, AP Biology, chemistry, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, agricultural science, and ocean ecology.