Paper No. 151-2
Presentation Time: 1:25 PM
A FRAMEWORK FOR THE INCORPORATION OF SPATIAL THINKING INTO K-12 GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION
Before scientific inquiry can begin, there must be a specification of geographic scale to define the study area. This spatial characteristic is common to all geoscience disciplines. A place-based advanced placement high school course taught over a 3-week period for five hours per day was used to test the hypothesis that the use of spatial science theory and practice can function as a unifying element in a curriculum for assisting with the development of a successful Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) pipeline. The disciplines integrated within the course included Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Earth Science. Methods employed were visual observation training, pace and scale mapping, and use of the level to construct topographic maps, These activities were coincident with soil mapping, soil sampling, soil analysis, water sampling, water analysis and the evaluation of erosion potential at a 110-acre natural area. The results from this instructional immersion method indicate all 10 of the students enrolled were able to understand the fundamental spatial concepts such as size, shape, location, distance, direction, and connectivity, and use them to help guide their inquiry across multiple scientific disciplines.