G-CAMP: A NEW APPROACH TO BRINGING EARTH SCIENCE COMPREHENSION TO CLASSROOM TEACHERS
Twenty to thirty grades 4-12 teachers were selected to participate in the program each year, and the program has evolved to provide a high-quality field experience for the teachers. Through the years, the teachers have been introduced to various geologic topics focusing on Earth Systems: modern barrier island complexes; volcanic processes; aeolian, karst, fluvial, mass movement, glacial, coastal processes; tectonics; various environments of deposition; resources obtained through drilling and mining; and human-induced hazards in the environment.
The teachers created virtual field trips and classroom lab activities. In the 2012 G-Camp, teachers were introduced to a digital data format, as each participant was provided with an iPad preloaded with various apps ranging from a digital Brunton compass to Google Earth®, and rock and mineral identification to soil classification. iPads allowed photography in the field, and iPad photos facilitated visual instruction of location and geometry of structures on the screen of the iPad. Taking a photograph of an outcrop or landform and then illustrating via a drawing app over the photograph is a unique way to ensure that the teachers are seeing correctly and understanding what is being explained. Participants adapted quickly to using the iPads for collecting data, and taking notes and pictures of geologic features in the field. The photographs and data were taken back to their respective classrooms.
Field instruction was supplemented with a textbook written specifically for G-Camp. We used iBook Author® to author the book on principles of geology for teachers including basic information found in introductory geology textbooks plus geologic write-ups of the various locations visited, including video and live website links.