Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 7-5
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


KLYCE, Ann M., Deptartment of Geological & Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University, 572 Rivers Street 033rsw, Rankin Hall West Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608-0001, TORAN, Marta L., Deptartment of Geological & Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University, ASU Box 32067, Boone, NC 28608 and HECKERT, Andrew B., Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608

Appalachian State University outreach programs focus on building long term relationships with teachers, schools, and campus faculty with the goal of improving scientific literacy. Our programs occur both on and off campus, including those delivered with our mobile classroom.

The diversity of the Geological and Environmental Sciences facilities allow us to break classes into smaller groups where they will tour our outdoor rock garden, indoor museum space, hallway exhibits, and lab rooms. The museum is stocked with both traditional exhibits as well as supplies for hands-on activities specifically designed for a wide range of age groups. The rock garden provides an opportunity to understand the rock cycle and to see and touch sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic boulders from five Appalachian states. These programs provide authentic scientific practice, presented as a tangible part of the standard curriculum and extended beyond the walls of the school classroom. We also use the rock garden and other exhibits to teach about geological resources and how geology extends beyond rocks. To provide teacher focused events, we host workshops, lend specimens or classroom materials, provide online resources, and our expertise so that teachers can expand their skill sets and resources available in their classrooms. By building these partnerships with K12 teachers we forge lasting relationships that persist through changing school years, allowing for teachers to bring their classes each year. Teacher workshops allow us to show teachers new and exciting information, and help fill gaps in their prior knowledge. These activities would not be possible without collaboration between multiple on campus entities, off campus education systems- the AGES staff, a hardworking team of undergraduate students, grants, and corporate sponsors.

Creating an atmosphere that allows undergraduate students to work directly with K12 students and teachers to engages everyone in brainstorming and problem solving while simultaneously improving the communication skills of undergraduate students. Working with outreach programs throughout the community not only encourages communicative behaviors in upper level students, it also creates enticing learning environments that lower level students may not be otherwise exposed to.