GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 30-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


GIBSON, Kate, Geological Sciences, California State University, Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831, BURSZTYN, Natalie, 800 N. State College Blvd., California State University - Fullerton, 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831 and CARLIN, Joseph, Geological Sciences, California State University - Fullerton, Department of Geological Sciences, MH-254, 800 N. State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831

In recent years, there has been a lack of Earth and Space Science (ESS) education in the K-12 system, furthermore the vast majority science education classes have centered on passive learning through lecture and textbook assignments. Scientific lab classes are often taught with well laid out science experiments that give little room for deviation from the expected outcome. This ultimately leads to a deficient understanding of how science is conducted in the real world and a high failure rate of STEM fields at the college and university level. The problem has grasped the attention of the United States Government, who have called for an increase in the number of bachelor degrees in STEM related fields (Freeman, et al. 2014). The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) intends to correct this shortfall of science education by encouraging active participation and collaboration in the classroom. Within these new standards, ESS is given the same amount of content as the typical core sciences of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. The new standards have teachers and students working together to learn about the world around them and conducting more in depth experiments. The development and usage of models to represent Earth’s processes are another benefit of the NGSS which helps students become an active participant in the classroom. This project focuses on the construction of three Earth science models for use in the K-12 classroom: an ocean garbage patch model, a glacier model, and a sinkhole model. Models are an important way for students to connect to processes that are too large, too slow, or too far away for students to observe on their own. Therefore this project also includes the design of NGSS-aligned lesson plans to accompany these models that aim to engage students in the scientific method; observation, testing, and proving a hypothesis. With the aid of NGSS-based lesson plans to accompany the models, teachers will be able to connect students to the processes occurring around the globe.