The Investigating Earth from Space: Preparing the Next Generation of GLOBE Scientists
project has established a Geoscience and Remote Sensing Laboratories (GRSL) at the Institute for Earth Observations at Palmyra Cove Science Center (NJ). The Institute for Earth Observations at Palmyra Cove Science Center has partnered with the State University of NY - Fredonia (NY) in establishing the GRSL and piloting the proposed activities. The GSRL consists of four components, (1) a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab, (2) a Virtual-Reality (VR) Data Visualization Studio, (3) an Earth Observing Satellite Direct Read-out Studio, and (4) CubeSat Engineering Design Lab. Particular focus has been given to the place-specific needs of the teacher participants to utilize data sets that will allow for connections to the local region. These data sets include data that is contained in the GLOBE database as well as satellite data from various federal agencies. Through these laboratories participants will gain expertise in geoscience content, GLOBE data gathering protocols and sources, as well as developing the skills involved with the analysis and application of these earth observation datasets. While the tools to accomplish this work have been widely available, there has been little implementation of these tools into classroom practice because teachers were not prepared to apply these tools in classroom practice. Investigating Earth from Space
will address this deficiency through a focused professional development academy where a cohort of thirty teachers who will be given an extended period of time to develop their own content knowledge and skills as well as the pedagogical content knowledge needed to implement these skills allowing them to focus on project-based instruction (PBI) using analysis tools. The structure of the training will allow teacher participants to experience this learning directly by first using guided examples and then progress through the development of additional examples tied to their classroom needs. This process will occur through a mentored relationship led by a team of PIs and the professional learning community created with their cohort, immersion in the Earth science content, STEM PD and pedagogy, and the application of the computational tools. Teachers will increase their technological and pedagogical skills, gain confidence teaching with computational tools and PBI, and implement lessons which will provide opportunities for students to analyze data and make claims based on evidence. The work product will serve to inform the field as well as being shared with the GLOBE community to help shape future initiatives.
The creation of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Laboratory (GRSL) require that participants engage in the development of their understanding of the analysis skills and thinking needed to implement remotely-sensed and ground truthed data as well as the shifts in pedagogical practice to influence student learning. Participants will contribute to the development of classroom-based resources for implementation as well as inform the direction that the professional development innovation will follow. Participants will also serve as mentors to others in the GLOBE community who wish to implement the innovation in their own classrooms.
While the focus of Investigating Earth from Space initiative is to develop the skills and thinking necessary to implement data visualization of earth system data sets in the classroom, these skills are highly transferable to other STEM disciplines. Additionally, the methodologies used to develop these skills have been shown to be highly impactful amongst groups of students that traditionally have been underrepresented. Teacher-mentors will also gain the expertise necessary to help deepen the understanding of the importance of these skills to the broader GLOBE community, leveraging the existing GLOBE network of leaders to lead future initiatives within GLOBE.