The Science Acceleration Strategy (SAS) for Research and Education

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Monday, 5 January 2015
Derek P. Starkenburg, Geophysical Institute (University of Alaska), Fairbanks, AK; and J. Fochesatto, A. Prakash, L. D. Carsten-Connor, and Y. Y. Kontar

The Science Acceleration Strategy (SAS), born at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from the merging of architectural skill sets with the concepts of synoptic meteorology, is expected to develop a series of innovative textbooks and an online repository of richly cued diagrams and tangible 3D models to augment science education and outreach at all levels. SAS responds in a timely manner to the urgent need for science education to adapt a leaner-involved approach that stimulates engagement and inquiry to achieve a layered and intuitive understanding of processes. For young children, drawing is critical for attaining ownership of complex topics; it is also a universal language that transcends age and culture, and thus has potential for attracting previously underrepresented groups to science. SAS will capitalize on this, bringing groundbreaking visualization materials to all ages. Specifically, SAS will unite the skills of artists and crafts persons with the rigors of math and science to produce robust illustrations that will accelerate the initial understanding of science concepts, as well as stimulate learners to produce their own creative “representations” as part of the learning process. Pedagogical methodologies to advance science education are already in progress, e.g. the Role of Representations in Learning Science (RiLS), as well as a software that helps young learners bridge creativity and drawing with the laws of physics [Crayon Physics Deluxe]. From the old adage “A drawing is worth a thousand words,” we have here that “a drawing is worth a thousand equations.” Furthermore, with the advent of 3D printers, we also have that “a model is worth a thousand drawings.” Presently, there are a myriad of printable models available online [e.g. Yeggi], and SAS will soon have a novel repertoire of such models specifically for science education and outreach purposes to be used in classrooms, museums, and at interdisciplinary venues. Finally, SAS is expected to assist the imminent need for many businesses outside of science to understand climate processes and climate change in a more personal way that is dynamically integrated into their professional practices. In the near future, a specialized one-day workshop using SAS material specifically to educate members of the design and construction industry about the relevant climate and weather processes that inform the constructs of environmental design will be presented in the summer of 2015 at Fentress Architects in Denver, Colorado. Other such workshops for a variety of industries whose work has environmental impacts are expected to follow. Specifically at the 2015 AMS annual meeting, we will present examples of how a series of robust 3D illustrations of dynamic meteorological concepts can be combined with their attendant equations to yield a sample textbook page of unprecedented pedagogy. Additionally, several models from a 3D printer depicting related processes will be presented as prototypes for review by educators, scientists, forecasters and outreach/education program specialists who attend the conference. REFERENCES: Ainsworth, S., Prain, V., and R. Tytler (2011), Drawing to learn science, Science, 333, 1096-1097. | Barraza, L. (1999), Children's drawings about the environment, Env. Educ. Res., 5(1), 49-66. | Crayon Physics Deluxe http://crayonphysics.com/ | Chambers, D. W. (1983), Stereotypic images of the scientist: The draw-a-scientists test, Sci. Educ., 67(2), 255-265. | McFarlane, D. A. (2013), Understanding the challenges of science education in the 21st century: New opportunities for scientific literacy, International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 4, 35-44. | Hubber, P., Tytler, R., and F. Haslam (2010), Teaching and learning about force with a representational focus: pedagogy and teacher change, Res.Sci. Educ., 40(1), 5-28. | Yeggi http://www.yeggi.com/