Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


BRAME, Roderic, College of Education, Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801, BRAME, Rachel, Social Sciences, University of South Florida Lakeland, 3433 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803, NEWBERRY, James, It, University of South Florida Lakeland, 3433 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803 and AVILA, Janet, S, University of South Florida Lakeland, 3433 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803,

Project Based Learning (PBL) was applied to two geoscience undergraduate non-science major’s courses. The products created by the students of the Hazards at the Earth’s Surface, Fall 2010 and The History of Life, Spring 2011 semesters at USF Polytechnic chronicle of the value of applied PBL in Geosciences. Examples from the students consist of original poetry and two group projects including the Natural History of Florida and Hazards In Florida at the Earth’s Surface posters.

The purpose in utilizing PBL in the classroom over these two semesters was to build literacy in Geosciences through STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math). Students were challenged to be innovative and imaginative in creating a project which incorporates key scientific concepts related to the topic of their course and produces something useful in society. The results yield an increase in science literacy in the student population and an extension into the community beyond the classroom. Currently over 300 Natural History of Florida posters have been distributed and are displayed in classrooms around Florida as well as several other locations in the Eastern United States. In addition over 500 copies of Hazards at the Earth’s Surface posters have been spread over the state of Florida.

What is the impact of geoscience literacy on students who participate in PBL? This approach to learning encourages creativity and cultural expression within projects, and allows for alternative displays of individual talent. This method also promotes as well as advances visual and/or literacy components in students projects. The addition of the Art component to STEM produced a multiple modality project that resonated with the students desire to learn in a more meaningful way. It gives license to explore a true interdisciplinary approach to learning geoscience. Additionally, PBL supports the opportunity for students to create products with an educational purpose.