Sunday, 14 January 2007
Utilizing GLOBE as an Inquiry-Based Teaching Strategy in the Shenandoah Valley
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
The National Science Education standards state that, “Inquiry is a critical component of a science program at all grade levels and in every domain of science, and designers of curricula and programs must be sure that the approach to content, as well as the teaching and assessment strategies, reflect the acquisition of scientific understanding through inquiry.” A focus group of science educators in the Shenandoah Valley revealed that teachers wanted to incorporate more inquiry-based approaches but some felt they lacked appropriate lessons, class time, and equipment. Professors at James Madison University (JMU) recognized that Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE), a hands-on science program in which students generate usable scientific data, could provide a potential vehicle for efficiently introducing inquiry-based learning if JMU supported introduction with content education and equipment resources. The last week of June 2006, fifteen 4th-12th grade Shenandoah Valley educators attended a one week workshop on air quality, meteorology and the GLOBE protocols via the Shenandoah Valley Air Quality (SHENAIR) Institute at JMU. The teachers were then tasked with incorporating GLOBE into their curricula. The outcome was introduction of the atmospheric and ozone GLOBE protocols in eight diverse ways in the Shenandoah Valley. Of particular interest are the three schools who are introducing GLOBE to special needs groups. This paper compares the various implementations of GLOBE and discusses the anticipated benefits of inquiry-based learning in each application.