Educators from throughout East Texas meet at Collins Academy in Jefferson to learn about new aquatic science curriculum for Texas STEM studies.
Learning about the aquatic science curriculum and accompanying materials, exercises such as ground permeability to water and impact on groundwater/aquifer supplies “really sunk in” for the educators, according to instructor Susan Hankins, from Texas State’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Aquatic Science Education Program manager, Johnnie Smith, was also there to introduce teachers to the new textbook, teacher guide and teaching enhancements all keyed to Texas teaching standards for middle through high school instruction.
Aquatic science curriculum instruction is hands-on, taking place outside as well at the August 11th workshop. Outdoors instruction is the place to learn about “The Hunt for Biodiversity” Lesson 6.3 in the new curriculum. The exercise, pictured above, helps students realize there is a pattern of aquatic diversity and production based on distance from the water and overhead canopy coverage.
Texas Aquatic Science is a comprehensive curriculum for water and aquatic science studies for middle and high school use, plus application at the university level for non science majors. The curriculum consists of a textbook in hard copy and fully on line, a massive teachers resource and activity guide that includes assessments, specially produced videos, and 220 online video lessons all fully aligned with Texas teaching standards. It’s become the top-ranked curriculum and source for information on aquatic science on the internet today.
Texas Aquatic Science includes the Texas Aquatic Science curriculum textbook, teacher guide and activities, videos, on-line lessons, and curriculum website.
Workshops introduce participants to Texas Aquatic Science, a comprehensive aquatic science curriculum, from molecules to ecosystems, and headwaters to ocean, for middle school and high school students. Workshop participants navigate the online student portal, loaded with science investigations, games, models, cooperative learning activities, Internet projects, readings from the student guides, short videos, science journals, and field based assessments of water quality and environmental conditions in a variety of field trips. Most time is spent doing hands on activities from the Teacher Guide, over 700 pages of TEKS aligned, hands-on activities designed to engage all learners and all learner types. Lessons in each chapter begin with an activity to allow the teacher to assess what students know about the concepts to be studied. Lessons embed higher order thinking skills, provide depth and complexity of learning, and provide a wide variety of hands-on activities that engage students in many contexts and methods. Each lesson includes an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned by synthesizing the information and demonstrating their learning by developing creative products or performances.
For more information and background please take a look at this article Aquatic Science Curriculum Research to Improve STEM Water Education.
H2O is funded by the Ewing Halsell Foundation, San Antonio.
Photos by Susan Hankins, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University