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Paper: Global Systems Science and Hands-On Universe Course Materials for High School
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 241
Authors: Gould, A.
Abstract: The University of California Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science has a project called Global Systems Science (GSS). GSS produced a set of course materials for high school science education that includes reading materials, investigations, and software for analyzing satellite images of Earth focusing on Earth systems as well as societal issues that require interdisciplinary science for full understanding. The software has general application in analysis of any digital images for a variety of purposes. NSF and NASA funding have contributed to the development of GSS. The current NASA-funded project of GSS is Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education (LHSCCE), which aims to establish professional learning communities (PLCs) to share curriculum resources and best practices for teaching about climate change in grades 9–12. The project explores ideal ways for teachers to meet either in-person or using simple yet effective distance-communication techniques (tele-meetings), depending on local preferences. Skills promoted include: how to set up a website to share resources; initiating tele-meetings with any available mechanism (webinars, Skype, telecons, moodles, social network tools, etc.); and easy ways of documenting and archiving presentations made at meetings. Twenty teacher leaders are forming the PLCs in their regions or districts. This is a national effort in which teachers share ideas, strategies, and resources aimed at making science education relevant to societal issues, improve students’ understanding of climate change issues, and contribute to possible solutions. Although the binding theme is climate change, the application is to a wide variety of courses: Earth science, environmental science, biology, physics, and chemistry. Moreover, the PLCs formed can last as long as the members find it useful and can deal with any topics of interest, even if they are only distantly related to climate change.
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