MINORITY EDUCATION THROUGH TRAVELING AND LEARNING IN THE SCIENCES: A MULTI-YEAR COLLABORATIVE NSF PROJECT PROVIDING GOSCIENCE FIELD EXPERIENCES FOR MINORITY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Each year METALS has assembled a group 30 high school students and several undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, with the entire group numbering more than 50 individuals. This challenged the project coordinators to develop teaching strategies appropriate to the circumstances and audience. Strategies employed include: hands-on investigations to further student understanding of the environment; group problem-solving exercises involving observation and culminating in a group presentation of findings; geologist-led hikes in which students travel in small groups to make observations on the trail with mentors; meetings with local experts who work with the students in a particular location; integration of earth science-societal connections through local examples, such as meeting with tribal members to discuss coastal community resilience.
Summer 2013 was the final year of this project and we are reflecting on the achievements of the four years of collaboration. We will examine highlights from the qualitative evaluation and consider lessons learned; discuss the strength of learning outcomes; and weigh options for future work.