174 Sharing Cutting-Edge Climate and Paleoclimate Research with Teachers and Students through Earth2Class

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Michael J. Passow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY; and T. Takahashi, A. M. Fiore, O. E. Clifton, F. Nitsche, J. F. McManus, G. Winckler, A. Jacobel, C. Leland, M. Rao, and A. A. Wing

Handout (50.2 MB)

How can research scientists investigating climate change and paleoclimatology connect with high school teachers and students to inform and excite them about cutting-edge discoveries? One effective format has been the Earth2Class Workshops (E2C) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO). These Saturday programs provide a venue for researchers to talk directly to classroom educators and their students in the same seminar rooms at LDEO where scientists present their research to colleagues, a setting that inspires the pre-college participants. E2C workshops cover the wide range of investigations conducted at LDEO. The focus for this presentation will be on Climate Change and Paleoclimatology.  Areas of research spotlighted in recent E2C workshops included:  impacts from changing oceanic carbon dioxide levels; dust in deep-sea cores collected in the ITCZ and shifting atmospheric circulation; ozone, air quality, and vegetation; melting of Antarctic ice sheets; and dendrochronology evidence for climatevariability and change.  Scientific results have been derived from innovative field research conducted aboard ships across the world collecting surface and deep-sea samples, experimental gardens, polar ice caps and their adjacent waters, and trees in forests on several continents. Each session combines a description of the motivation and methodology behind the cutting-edge investigations with suggestions for related curriculum activities and networking opportunities.  Because attendance at the Saturday Workshops is relatively small, this environment allows more time for person-to-person exchanges and question-and-answer opportunities.  Participants have opportunities to request clarification of the scientific jargon which is often used by scientists but not understood by the audience. Presentations are not intended to be polished and glossy, suitable for large audience in large auditorium or colleagues in a scientific symposium.  Scientists present clear descriptions of how ideas and questions are generated; how measurements are made; how the data are interpreted, and how the results might be helpful for society and civilization. Although the number of teachers present in each Saturday morning session in Palisades, NY, is small, those who attend come in contact with a large number of young minds at their respective schools. Thus, the information and ideas which they acquire at the E2C classes is communicated to a very large number of students, magnifying the impact. Additionally, for those who cannot attend, we present archived versions of the presentations and resources through the E2C website, www.earth2class.org/site. This has proved to be a valuable resource for K-12 teachers and students.  These workshops serve as important models for developing resources that support the NGSS vision of helping students better understand how scientific knowledge develops and experience meaningful connections between crosscutting concepts, integrating engineering and technology, and disciplinary core ideas.
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