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New YouthQuake project engages urban middle school students in geoscience practices

The Seismic Explorer showing the number of earthquakes that occurred in California between 1980 and the present.

With most California residents living within a 30-minute drive of one of the state’s 500 active fault zones, the threat of earthquakes looms large. Scientists are constantly monitoring seismic activity, conducting risk assessments to determine when and where earthquakes may occur, and predicting the potential impacts to surrounding communities. Our new National Science Foundation-funded YouthQuake […]

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Under the sea: How a dive to the seafloor can help students unlock Earth’s past

Seafloor spreading modeled in TecRocks Explorer

Stephanie Seevers is an Earth science teacher in Colorado and a consultant on the TecRocks project. I was talking to my 9th grade Earth and Space Science students recently about why they think so many people lack a solid understanding of our planet and its history. We brainstormed ideas, and while several theories sounded valid, […]

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Rocks and plate tectonics reimagined

TecRocks data table

Across the Earth, rock is being created, destroyed, and transformed all the time. If you were to witness a volcanic eruption up close, you would see the birth of new rock. While such an eruption results in a dramatic display of Earth’s power, many rock-forming processes are invisible as they take place deep beneath Earth’s […]

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Linking block coding, visual representations, and science concepts

GeoCoder with block code (left) and a visual representation of two tectonic plates (right).

The everyday work of modern seismologists—the scientists who study earthquakes, hazards, and risks—exists right at the intersection of two NGSS practices: “Analyzing and Interpreting Data” and “Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking.” Seismologists collect huge amounts of data from satellites, remote sensors, and GPS networks in order to monitor Earth’s surface for signs of land movement […]

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Learning science practices with moths and collaborative software

Teachers and MothEd project staff in lab at Michigan State University

Moths live around the world. Despite their ubiquity, they haven’t been studied nearly as much as their daytime counterparts, not even by entomologists. Butterflies have gotten most of the attention. The MothEd: Authentic Science for Elementary and Middle School Students project is exploring ways to deepen independent science inquiry learning in young learners using technology […]

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From science teacher to Scrum Master

Screenshot from Zoom meeting of Scrum teams

Science teacher to Scrum Master may not seem like a natural transition. Indeed, my friends and family wondered about my recent career switch to Scrum Master at the Concord Consortium. Let me explain how I got here. According to Scrum Alliance®, a Scrum Master is “the Scrum team member tasked with fostering an effective and […]

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The Scrum cycle

Scrum cycle

As an organization dedicated to innovating and inspiring equitable, large-scale improvements in STEM teaching and learning through technology, we develop a lot of technology. I mean a lot. Our Scrum approach to technology development is always evolving. We adapt to each research project, team, person, and circumstance to be as efficient and effective as possible. […]

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A search for data offers a new friendship and answers to 8th graders’ questions

Four students at desk exploring data in CODAP

Google “Japanese Internment data” and you’ll find thousands of links. There are sites dedicated to Japanese culture, ancestry, and history, plus government records, university departments, museums, and public television stations with scores of information. There are even sites devoted to finding other sites with links to data. I recently found myself, like Edgar Allan Poe, […]

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