2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 8-12
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM


KEAN, William F., Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201

Making earth science relevant to K-12 students in a large urban environment is challenging. UW- Milwaukee offers an earth science course just for pre-education majors, with the focus on local and state earth science and connects it to the broad overview of earth science that is expected by most state and national science content standards. Milwaukee’s location on Lake Michigan and in a state with geologic exposures from the Precambrian to the Pleistocene provides the broad content source. The course revolves around 5 local field trips that are run during normal class time. All laboratory activities draw on information from the field trips, but each exercise can easily be modified to fit a K-12 classroom. Google Earth is used extensively, and students are expected to develop their own VFE modeled after the Real Earth Inquiry Project developed by the Paleontological Museum at Cornell University. This year the primary text is the Teacher Friendly Earth Science Guide to the Midwest found at Virtual Field Work.org. This field guide provides a broad overview of earth processes in the context of the Midwest. The presentation will provide examples of how the VFE’s, field guides and local field trips allow the students to see locally and expand globally. Although this course is designed for college students, most of the content and pedagogy can be incorporated into K-12 curriculum.