Aquatic Science Workshop Attracts Educators to Texas A&M University San Antonio
August 29, 2015 — Educators from throughout the San Antonio area met at the new Texas A&M Campus in South San Antonio for a workshop introducing the Texas Aquatic Science Curriculum and new STEM education research study. Attendees included traditional classroom teachers, STEM-themed school teachers, and informal educators from nature centers and museum-type locations.
All attendees received a copy of the Texas Aquatic Science book and a flash drive which contains a 741-page aquatic science teacher’s guide, 236 aquatic science videos, over 300 photographs on aquatic science subjects useful for instruction and illustration, and many other useful tools. The teachers expressed appreciation for these items and mentioned that some campuses still struggle with downloading and streaming information due to breakdowns in the current internet systems in their school districts.
Many workshop attendees have agreed to participate in a pilot project where they will be reporting back to Meadows Center and TPWD education researchers about their classroom experiences using the aquatic science curriculum over the 2015/2016 school year.
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.