A few weeks ago, several staff members from the Academy’s Education Department hopped on a plane headed for the California Science Teachers Association’s Science Education Conference in Palm Springs. (You would not believe the bizarre array of materials we had stuffed into our suitcases in preparation for the hands-on workshops we were scheduled to present!) At the conference, we gave six workshops on topics ranging from green buildings to evolution to sketching as a learning tool. Were any of you in the audience?
In between delivering workshops, we had the opportunity to attend presentations given by other organizations, teachers, and experts on a number of topics. It was fun to hear so many excited conversations about science, and to watch so many educators share ideas and inspiration. (And the balmy Palm Springs weather was a definite plus!)
While I was there I saw many interesting sessions and learned about some creative new programs. They all sounded great, but one in particular caught my attention as something to spread the word about:
The Inquiry-2-Insight project is a collaboration involving Stanford University in California and Goteburg University in Sweden. The project pairs a high school biology class in the United States with a class in Sweden for an educational experience focused on climate change. Students in the two countries interact through social networking tools while participating in collaborative investigations and activities. Goals of the project include giving students an international perspective on environmental issues and developing students’ critical thinking skills. While only the U.S. and Sweden are involved at this point, the project may expand to other countries in the future.
If this sounds to you like an exciting project, you may be interested to hear that they are currently seeking high school classes to partner with!
Explore the Inquiry-2-Insight website to learn more about their program, and click on the “Join Us” link (found under “Partners”) to get in touch with them.
The Inquiry-2-Insight website states that “education is a critical factor in dealing with climate change.” This is definitely a perspective that we agree with at the Academy. To complement our Altered State: Climate Change in California exhibit, we’ve developed these lesson plans and museum worksheets:
In addition, our next BioForum event, to be held on Saturday, April 17, 2010, is focused specifically on Climate Change. The roster of speakers will be posted soon, along with their professional biographies and presentation titles. If you haven’t yet attended this seminar series for middle and high school teachers, check out the live video and downloadable powerpoints from past events (the Genomics BioForum files will be up by early December).
Although details for the Climate Change BioForum have yet to be announced, I notice that several dozen teachers have already signed up. The topic is certainly a hot one!