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

Paper No. 33-12
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


BOHLS-GRAHAM, C. Elaine, Austin Independent School District, McCallum High School, 5600 Sunshine Drive, Austin, TX 78756, 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 and SEGENT, Connie, Reagan High School, North East Independent School District, San Antonio, TX 78258, elaine.bohls-graham@austinisd.org

The NSF-funded Diversity and Innovation in Geoscience (DIG) Texas Blueprints project created theme-based Blueprints composed of topical units built around a storyline for teaching a yearlong high school Earth Science course. Each three-week unit meets the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Earth and Space Science, addresses the Earth Science Literacy Principles, and is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). As a Texas-based, practicing secondary science teacher, my involvement with the project began at its inception in 2013, as a member of a regional blueprint development team and has continued in 2014 and 2015 as an Education Intern.

Blueprint development teams, composed of secondary educators and university geoscience/ education/pedagogy professors, created blueprint themes and built supporting units. Education Interns reviewed/revised units, created scaffolding notes, vetted resources, and prepared units for going live on the DIG Texas website.

This experience-based poster draws attention to challenges encountered in bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and education; and to the positive outcomes achieved through multidisciplinary collaboration.

Initial challenges included developing coherent themes/storylines to provide a framework for existing supportive resources; the temptation to write curriculum, due to limited experience in finding existing earth science curriculum and assessing provenance and suitability; and disconnection between university faculty and practicing teachers when considering content level and instructional strategies. An over-arching challenge was learning to use the project resource review tool and working within the non-linear environment of the project website. Overcoming these challenges allowed members to (1) form lasting collegial relationships; (2) become adept at working with the SERC-hosted web platforms; (3) gain expertise in selecting high quality standards aligned educational resources; and (4) delve into the organizational structure of the NGSS, with respect to understanding the relationships between the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts for Earth science.

Website: serc.carleton.edu/dig_blueprints/index.html

  • DIGTexas poster for GSA2015.pdf (21.9 MB)