2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 33-9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


DAUPHINAIS, Donna M, Science, Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W 6th Ave., Lakewood, CO 80228 and MAHER SOBHANI, Barbra, Science, Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W. Sixth Ave, Littleton, CO 80228, donna.dauphinais@rrcc.edu

Ten years ago, RRCC introduced an Integrated Science course series (SCI 155/SCI 156) for the Colorado Community College System. The guaranteed transfer, two class sequence is designed to introduce pre-service teachers to the basic science disciplines with a focus on their integration. SCI 155 focuses on physics and chemistry, and SCI 156 on geology, biology and astronomy. Transforming this course sequence to better prepare our pre-service teachers for the NGSS implementation is our next phase of development though infusion of energy and climate issues using active learning and InTeGrate modules. Alignment of the course objectives to NGSS will ensure that the preparation of pre-service teachers incorporates accepted practices and improves scientific literacy. Stressing the interrelatedness of science principles to real world applications will direct pre-service educators to do more self-driven learning, have less apprehension of the science principles, and will provide an increased level of comfort and satisfaction in the application of knowledge and skills. The goal is to aid pre-service teachers in implementation of self-designed and age appropriate established modules, which will include Standards based skills and core ideas, and tie them into current practices of science and engineering.

In the SCI 155 course, physics and chemistry will be explored through a solar home development project. The project will involve studying the chemistry of the solar cell process, testing and modification of passive solar home models (heat flow, solar insolation, efficiency and energy conservation principles) and a final solar home community design project. InTeGrate climate modules will be used to reinforce the connection of the project to the environment. SCI 156 will be using the Living on the Edge InTeGrate module to explore the connections between plate tectonics and society. Presenting STEM practices in exciting and engaging ways help students see science as a process instead of a series of content packages. With NGSS as a skeleton, the content will be integrated into the modules and used as a catalyst for innovation and creativity. Applying the cross-cutting of the disciplines’ core ideas and connections to cutting edge science and engineering practices will transform the teacher education experience at RRCC.