VIRTUAL FIELD GEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION IN THE GRAND CANYON AND BEYOND
Our team has selected a number of exemplary geological localities for VFT development and research aimed at the educational impact on both college level learning objectives and high school common core standards. Among regions for which we have previously developed VFTs, such as the Pilbara region of Australia, we are working in the world-renowned geological landscape encoding Earth-system processes from the Paleoproterozoic to the Holocene as seen within the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon VFT will demonstrate how the rocks, landforms, and processes can be used to teach about geologic time, stratigraphy, tectonics, and Earth and life history. Each of the learning outcomes can be readily aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Earth Science Literacy Principles. In tandem with developing and implementing the VFT, our team is researching the comparative outcomes of in-person and virtual field activities on learning and on novelty space. VFT technology offers a tantalizing opportunity to contribute to scientific literacy in particular and geoscience literacy in general.