Paper No. 181-8
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM
EXPLORING PLATE TECTONICS WITH MODELS AND AN ONLINE CURRICULUM
Understanding Earth’s tectonic plate system is complicated. In this session, we will introduce a free online curriculum developed as part of the Geological models for Explorations Of the Dynamic Earth (GEODE) project, the specific models designed to support student learning, and the teacher edition aimed at supporting teacher’s implementation of the curriculum to facilitate increasingly sophisticated student understandings of Plate Tectonics. The curriculum called “What will Earth look like in 500 million years?” is designed to align with the Next Generation Science Standards and the research-based pedagogical framework of Ambitious Science Teaching. The curriculum uses two web-based tools to help students visualize what takes place at and below Earth’s surface as plates interact. The Seismic Explorer is a real-world data visualization tool used to investigate patterns of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The Tectonic Explorer is a three-dimensional, interactive, dynamic model used to test hypotheses about how plate motions and interactions result in landforms. This curriculum, designed for secondary school courses, leverages current science education research on a learning progression on plate tectonics, Ambitious Science Teaching, and research on educational technology and models. Using “what will Earth look like in 500 million years” as a framing phenomenon, GPS data, paleomaps, geographic profiles, the Seismic Explorer and Tectonic Explorer, provide students with the tools needed to think sophisticatedly about how Earth has changed in the past, and will continue to change in the future. Finally, a unique facet of the GEODE curriculum is the interactive teacher edition. Overlaid on the student curriculum, the teacher edition allows for overlays, pop outs, and other ways of displaying content and pedagogical learning opportunities for teachers as they work through the curriculum.