Blog

New project will transform how plate tectonics and the rock cycle are taught

Stone formation showing fault lines

Earth science classes typically present plate tectonics and the rock cycle as separate and unrelated concepts. Yet land and rock formation are directly related to the tectonic environments in which they form. Indeed, plate tectonic interactions are fundamental to understanding geological processes. A new project funded by the National Science Foundation is focused on teaching […]

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Crafting learning ecologies for remote professional learning and summer camps

Paper Mechatronics projects during a “gallery walk”

Educators know that learning happens not just in the classroom, but all the time and across all settings—from school and to home other formal and informal spaces. In learning sciences research, this is described by a learning ecology framework. Like an environmental ecosystem that sustains biodiversity, learning ecology is a set of complex relationships and […]

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The risk and impact of COVID-19 on students

Julia LaCava

I’ve been thinking a lot about natural hazards while working on the GeoHazard: Modeling Natural Hazards and Assessing Risks project, which is developing curriculum materials for middle and high school students. While helping the team think about how to communicate about the materials being developed, I’ve also been thinking more about the hazards and risks I’m facing through the COVID pandemic and the impact it has already had on my life.

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What is causing all the dangerous wildfires?

A fire line in the Wildfire Explorer model

If you think wildfires are in the news more now than in the past, it’s not your imagination. Rather, the increase in wildfires is a trend that scientists have also noticed. One of the many factors driving this change is due to a rise in global temperatures. Because of climate change, droughts are intensifying and fire seasons are getting longer. Scientists are exploring all the factors that influence wildfire behavior and considering the results of experimental computer models with field data.

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Piloting the “Assessing Volcanic Hazards and Risk with Code” Module during COVID-19

This spring I had the opportunity to pilot the new online GeoCode tephra activities developed as part of the NSF-funded Visualizing GeoHazards and Risk with Code project with my 9th grade Honors Earth Science classes in Evergreen, Colorado. I’d been looking forward to the pilot for months, but only a handful of weeks before our […]

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Incorporating writing, data, and social justice in middle school classrooms

Three blocks with backgrounds of swirled colors representing flexible language use, expansive science repertoires, and contextual understanding of data

Twenty-five middle school teachers from Berkeley, Oakland, and the surrounding areas of northern California recently met online as part of a virtual professional learning workshop called “Telling Data Stories: Scientific Data, Student Experience, and Authorship for Social Justice in Middle School Classrooms.” The workshop was offered by the Writing Data Stories project, a collaboration of […]

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Teaching Earth and environmental science remotely

Seismic Explorer

Now more than ever, teachers are looking for Earth and environmental science activities they can use in any classroom environment, whether it’s face-to-face or remote. We have developed a collection of innovative curriculum and embedded Earth system models and teacher resources, and want to ensure that these resources can be used by any teacher, anywhere. […]

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Teaching About Risk and Hazards

Wildfire Model

The GeoHazard team contributed to this blog post. We have just wrapped up a week of remote professional learning for our GeoHazard: Modeling Natural Hazards and Assessing Risks project. The goal of GeoHazard is to help students interpret data and understand the factors influencing the progression of and risks associated with natural hazards. Due to […]

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