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

Paper No. 9-2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM


JACOBS, Belinda E., Cedar Ridge High School, 2800 Gattis School Road, Round Rock, TX 78664, ELLINS, Katherine K., Office of Outreach and Diversity, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 10100 Burnet Rd., Bldg. 196, Austin, TX 78758, RIGGS, Eric M., College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, Room 202, Eller O&M Building, MS 3148 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, SERPA, Laura F., Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University, El Paso, TX 79968 and STOCKS, Eric, Dept. of Psychology and Counseling, The University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX 75799

Rigorous instruction in Earth’s systems is vital for generating a workforce capable of addressing modern Earth science challenges. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) respond to this call for expertise and real-world preparation with a framework for K-12 science instruction that insists upon students’ engagement with disciplinary core ideas, woven together with crosscutting concepts, and rooted in science and engineering practices.

Implementation of the NGSS requires curricula that address the rigor and relevance of these standards, and which also meets the growing demands for Earth science professionals. The DIG Texas Instructional Blueprints project satisfies this need by carefully selecting and packaging vetted earth science learning activities and educational resources freely available online to the public into blueprints. Each blueprint is composed of 8 three- week teaching units and serves as a roadmap for teaching a one-year Earth science course.

Secondary educators, university geoscience and education faculty, and research scientists formed five teams to develop the instructional blueprints. The blueprints not only address the NGSS, but also align with the Earth Science Literacy Principles and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Earth and Space Science.

This presentation provides an overview of the project, demonstrates the correlation of selected units with the NGSS, and offers a review of the first year of the implementation of one blueprint in a Texas high school Earth and Space science classroom. In addition, we will share preliminary results of a second round of implementation, which is currently in progress. The impact on Earth and Space science instruction in secondary schools is anticipated to reach beyond Texas to any educator with access to the online site.