Explore methods and challenges associated with supporting and evaluating scientific modeling in K–12 classrooms in this structured poster session.
In this interactive panel symposium, presenters will draw from a set of active DR K-12 projects to explore a diverse array of resources, models, and tools (RMTs) designed to operationalize varying perspectives on scientific modeling in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms across disciplinary domains.
Overview: Join us for the second annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous. Last year's inaugural event brought together researchers and practitioners working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education. This year we will be expanding our audience to welcome a mix of college faculty, graduate students, and K-12 teachers from all disciplines who are interested in improving their teaching about Earth. Read more
Recent reform efforts and the next generation science standards emphasize the importance of incorporating authentic scientific practices into science instruction. Modeling can be a particularly challenging practice to address because modeling occurs within a socially structured system of representation that is specific to a domain. Further, in the process of modeling, experts interact deeply with domain-specific content knowledge and integrate modeling with other scientific practices in service of a larger investigation.
Reasoning about ecosystems includes consideration of causality over temporal and spatial distances; yet learners typically focus on immediate time frames and local contexts. Teaching students to reason beyond these boundaries has met with some success based upon tests that cue students to the types of reasoning required. Virtual worlds offer an opportunity to assess what students actually do in a simulated context. Beyond this, mobile devices make it possible to scaffold and assess learning in the real world.
This session seeks feedback on hands-on experiences for learning causal dynamics through collaborative inquiry activities in an immersive virtual ecosystem, including exploring potential opportunities for expanding the curriculum.
EcoMUVE (ecomuve.gse.harvard.edu) is a middle school science curriculum in which students explore an immersive virtual ecosystem and learn its causal dynamics through collaborative inquiry activities. In one experience, students explore a virtual pond and its biodiversity, traveling in time to see changes over the course of a virtual summer. They discover a fish kill and are tasked with figuring out why it happened. In another experience, students explore population dynamics and predator-prey relationships over 50 years in a virtual forest.
Participants discuss and identify what coordination is needed across DR K–12 efforts to enable sustained collective impact on the issues presented by climate, global, and environmental change.
DR K–12 projects have been funded to conduct (1) activities and develop materials that are beneficial to the STEM education community (teachers and students) and (2) education research to ensure continuous improvement of these activities and materials.
Participants engage in marine data investigations using the Ocean Tracks Web interface and analysis tools, offer feedback, and discuss possible synergies with other DR K–12 programs.
Digital, large-scale scientific data have become broadly available in recent decades, and analyzing data, identifying patterns, and extracting useful information have become gateway skills to full participation in the 21st century workforce. Yet, pre-college classrooms are falling short in preparing students for this world and are missing opportunities to harness the power of Big Data to engage students in scientific learning. To address this issue, scientists, educators, and researchers at Education Development Center, Inc.