Environmental Science

Eco-Solutioning: The Design and Evaluation of a Curricular Unit to Foster Students’ Creation of Solutions to Address Local Socio-Scientific Issues

The global pandemic and climate change have led to unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges with interdisciplinary STEM foundations. Even as STEM learning has never been more important, very few pre-college programs prepare students to address these challenges by emphasizing socio-scientific issue (SSI) problem solving and the engineering design of solutions to address local phenomena.

Author/Presenter

Nancy Butler Songer

Guillermo D. Ibarrola Recalde

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2021
Short Description

The global pandemic and climate change have led to unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges with interdisciplinary STEM foundations. Even as STEM learning has never been more important, very few pre-college programs prepare students to address these challenges by emphasizing socio-scientific issue (SSI) problem solving and the engineering design of solutions to address local phenomena. The paper discusses the design and evaluation of a pre-college, SSI curricular unit where students expand their learning by creating solutions to increase biodiversity within local urban neighborhoods.

Theoretical Diversity and Inclusivity in Science and Environmental Education Research: A Way Forward

As distinct communities of practice (COP), science education research (SER) and environmental education research (EER) have both matured a great deal in recent decades, coming to include a greater diversity of theoretical perspectives, worldviews, and researcher and participant voices. In this paper, we present a view of theoretical inclusivity that promises a rich, robust research landscape for both EER and SER through the deliberate inclusion of non-Western theories.

Author/Presenter

Roberta Howard Hunter

Gail Richmond

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2022
Short Description

As distinct communities of practice (COP), science education research (SER) and environmental education research (EER) have both matured a great deal in recent decades, coming to include a greater diversity of theoretical perspectives, worldviews, and researcher and participant voices. In this paper, we present a view of theoretical inclusivity that promises a rich, robust research landscape for both EER and SER through the deliberate inclusion of non-Western theories.

Training a New Generation of Problem Solvers: Innovation in STEM Education

Humankind faces unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges. There is a critical need for STEM education to foster both science learning and the application of learning to problem solving. At the University of Utah, Professor Nancy Butler Songer and her collaborators have developed a suite of interdisciplinary instructional and field-based data collection resources offering elementary and secondary students the chance to create solutions for local, urban environmental issues.

Author/Presenter

Nancy Butler Songer

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2021
Short Description

Humankind faces unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges. There is a critical need for STEM education to foster both science learning and the application of learning to problem solving. At the University of Utah, Professor Nancy Butler Songer and her collaborators have developed a suite of interdisciplinary instructional and field-based data collection resources offering elementary and secondary students the chance to create solutions for local, urban environmental issues.

Teaching Earth and Environmental Science using Model-Evidence Link Diagrams

High-quality science education is essential for students to become scientifically literate. Model-Evidence Link (MEL) diagrams and build-a-MEL (baMEL) diagrams are instructional scaffolds that create an opportunity for students to build scientific understanding through the evaluation of the connections between evidence and alternative explanations of a scientific phenomenon. The MELs and baMELs allow for a natural incorporation of three-dimensional learning that has been recommended by the Next Generation Science Standards to enhance students’ comprehension.

Author/Presenter

Erin Colfax

Ananya M. Matewos

Janelle M. Bailey

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2020
Short Description

High-quality science education is essential for students to become scientifically literate. Model-Evidence Link (MEL) diagrams and build-a-MEL (baMEL) diagrams are instructional scaffolds that create an opportunity for students to build scientific understanding through the evaluation of the connections between evidence and alternative explanations of a scientific phenomenon. The MELs and baMELs allow for a natural incorporation of three-dimensional learning that has been recommended by the Next Generation Science Standards to enhance students’ comprehension. Through this science teaching methodology, students are able to see that by diagramming and then writing about one’s thoughts about the connections between evidence and explanations, one can deepen their understanding of scientific concepts.

Using Climate Models to Learn About Global Climate Change

Bhattacharya, D., Chandler, M., Carroll-Steward, K., & Forbes, C.T. (2020). Using climate models to learn about global climate change. The Science Teacher, 88(1), 58-66.

Author/Presenter

Devarati Bhattacharya

Kimberly Carroll Steward

Mark Chandler

Cory Forbes

Year
2020
Short Description

This article focuses on investigating the phenomenon of increasing surface air temperatures using a global climate modeling approach.

Using Climate Models to Learn About Global Climate Change

Bhattacharya, D., Chandler, M., Carroll-Steward, K., & Forbes, C.T. (2020). Using climate models to learn about global climate change. The Science Teacher, 88(1), 58-66.

Author/Presenter

Devarati Bhattacharya

Kimberly Carroll Steward

Mark Chandler

Cory Forbes

Year
2020
Short Description

This article focuses on investigating the phenomenon of increasing surface air temperatures using a global climate modeling approach.

Empirical Research on K-16 Climate Education: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Developing understanding about the Earth’s climate and the phenomenon of global climate change (GCC) is essential for all students, our future citizens and decision-makers. Recent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has intensified the focus on teaching and learning of the Earth’s climate and GCC in formal learning environments. Concurrently, the empirical research associated with climate education has also increased.

Author/Presenter

Devarati Bhattacharya

Kim Carroll Steward

Cory T. Forbes

Year
2021
Short Description

Recent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has intensified the focus on teaching and learning of the Earth’s climate and GCC in formal learning environments. Concurrently, the empirical research associated with climate education has also increased. We used an exhaustive, stepwise process to search for and identify relevant literature, systematically analyzing 178 empirical, peer-reviewed studies focused on climate literacy and education in formal K-16 settings.

Empirical Research on K-16 Climate Education: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Developing understanding about the Earth’s climate and the phenomenon of global climate change (GCC) is essential for all students, our future citizens and decision-makers. Recent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has intensified the focus on teaching and learning of the Earth’s climate and GCC in formal learning environments. Concurrently, the empirical research associated with climate education has also increased.

Author/Presenter

Devarati Bhattacharya

Kim Carroll Steward

Cory T. Forbes

Year
2021
Short Description

Recent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has intensified the focus on teaching and learning of the Earth’s climate and GCC in formal learning environments. Concurrently, the empirical research associated with climate education has also increased. We used an exhaustive, stepwise process to search for and identify relevant literature, systematically analyzing 178 empirical, peer-reviewed studies focused on climate literacy and education in formal K-16 settings.

Climate Education in Secondary Science: Comparison of Model-based and Non-Model-based Investigations of Earth’s Climate

In this mixed method study, we analyse the effectiveness of two pedagogical approaches – one model-based and another non-model-based – for developing secondary students’ understanding of the phenomenon of increase in Earth’s average surface temperatures, a core dimension of global climate change (GCC). Building on past research on teaching and learning about Earth’s climate, we use an Evidence-Based Reasoning framework to assess student tasks and interviews from a 3-week, project-developed, model-based curriculum.

Author/Presenter

Devarati Bhattacharya

Kim Carroll Steward

Cory T. Forbes

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2021
Short Description

In this mixed method study, we analyse the effectiveness of two pedagogical approaches – one model-based and another non-model-based – for developing secondary students’ understanding of the phenomenon of increase in Earth’s average surface temperatures, a core dimension of global climate change (GCC).

Journey to El Yunque curriculum

The Journey to El Yunque curriculum introduces students to disturbance ecology, with a focus on both ecosystem resilience and ecosystem change. Each page is beautifully illustrated by Puerto Rican artist Robert Casilla to connect students with Puerto Rican culture as well as help generate curiosity and interest as students move through the curriculum. Students use interactive models to explore how limiting factors, such as the availability of food or shelter, impact the population dynamics of different species following a hurricane.

Author/Presenter

The Journey to El Yunque Team

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2016
Short Description

The Journey to El Yunque curriculum introduces students to disturbance ecology, with a focus on both ecosystem resilience and ecosystem change. Each page is beautifully illustrated by Puerto Rican artist Robert Casilla to connect students with Puerto Rican culture as well as help generate curiosity and interest as students move through the curriculum. Students use interactive models to explore how limiting factors, such as the availability of food or shelter, impact the population dynamics of different species following a hurricane. Students engage with interactive models of population dynamics that are based on real-world data gathered by our partners at the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research program in Puerto Rico. The data from these models serve as evidence for students’ scientific arguments about the impact of hurricanes on specific species in the rainforest. (Teacher materials can be requested from demo@elyunque.net)