Selected links for K-12 Earth sciences education
Other useful links
Making of America
About the Workshops
With funding from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and logistical support from UTC, the workshop has been offered twice to a total of 34 middle school teachers from southeastern Tennessee.
The initial offering, during the summer of 2004, focused on selected aspects of physical geology, regional geology, and southern Appalachian tectonics, and featured 2 all-day geologic field trips.
The 2006 workshop focused on natural resources of the region, energy, and associated environmental considerations and made extensive use of local facilities and guest speakers. Tours of a state-of-the-art cement factory, the largest thin-film solar array in the southeast, a waste-water treatment plant, a constructed wetland for AMD, and a modern environment-friendly municipal building, all within 10 miles of the university, provided a wealth of practical information and an awareness of Earth Science in the community. Guest speakers included an NPCA advocate who spoke on environmental impacts of mining and burning fossil fuels and a UTC engineering professor who spoke on fuel-cell technologies.
Logistically, both workshops were similar. A duration of 10 days during late June proved adequate to deliver content, but was sufficiently short and strategically timed to fit into teachers' summer schedules. Participants received 2 undergraduate credits and were provided stipends, breakfast and lunch, teaching materials, field-trip transportation, and parking permits.
Both workshops were highly successful, as indicated by participants' responses on follow-up surveys, the instructors' perception of participants' increased enthusiasm for the subject matter, and the number of repeat customers. As indicated by participants' improved performance on post-tests, relative to pre-tests, the workshops provided an improved knowledge of their respective content areas. Mean test scores improved significantly from 70% to 78% for the first workshop and from 56% to 77% for the second workshop.
Success of the workshops was due in part to present political circumstances in the area of education, strategic scheduling, aggressive promotion, ample financial and logistical support, functional pedagogical design, and extensive reference to the region and the community.
Workshop products (posters, activities, handouts, etc.) are freely available from the Workshop Product page .