Paper No. 4-10
Presentation Time: 11:20 AM
THE UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF CONDUCTING A K-12 EARTH SCIENCE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP OVER ZOOM
For the last three years UMass Lowell has offered a professional development workshop for K-12 teachers. This workshop entitled Integrating Climate Change into the K-12 Classroom, was held at the UMass Lowell campus in the summer of 2018 and 2019. The summer of 2020, Covid-19 forced the workshop to be offered as a webinar through ZOOM. Although the restrictions initially made the format more complicated, it eventually allowed individuals from 7 different states and the Philippines to participate. All told, as many as 6,000 student could potentially be reached though the teachings of the participating K-12 teachers. Presenters in the workshop included UMass Lowell faculty from engineering, biology, computer science, earth science, sociology, political science, and art history, as well as atmospheric science presenters from Yale and Bentley. The inconsistency to which climate change is taught in public schools inspired this workshop. Although climate change science is part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) under the High School Earth and Space Science category, many schools do not require Earth Science at the high school level. This lack of knowledge is a barrier to public understanding of the importance of addressing the climate crisis. This workshop covers climate change from a variety of different disciplines to encourage all teachers to address climate change in their curricula. With the workshop offered as a webinar it allowed the distribution of these ideas to reach a much broader audience. It is likely the online format will once again be offered for the summer 2021 workshop.