Texas Aquatic Science Research and Pathway for Education was the Keynote Presentation at the 2nd Annual Student Research Symposium at Texas A&M University in San Antonio
Empowering Tomorrow’s Water Science Savvy Citizens: A Formula for Success in Delivering Experiential Technology-Enhanced STEM Education (about Water) was the title of the keynote presentation by Dr. Rudolph Rosen at the 2nd Annual Student Research Symposium at Texas A&M University in San Antonio. Aquatic science research is a new area of work at the university.
Covering aquatic science research in education, students and others in attendance were introduced to the multiyear evolution of Texas Aquatic Science. Led by educators and researchers from the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment (Texas State University), Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi), and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Aquatic Science initiative expanded through support from over 20 partners and multiple funders.
The project was conceived in the course of developing means to integrate use of various new mobile and interactive technologies into middle and high school curricula about water from headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, but researchers heard that to effectively integrate new technology and materials into regular use that there needed to be a context for use. Researchers had a choice of just continuing down a path with aquatic science research and education that may result in an unused educational product or adapt the project scope along lines suggested by teachers. Researchers took the advice of teachers.
This resulted in a comprehensive STEM pathway to engage learners from middle school through adulthood on an educational journey to create water-savvy citizens of tomorrow who will ensure effective stewardship of water in the Gulf states and beyond.
Texas Aquatic Science is a comprehensive curriculum for water and aquatic science education 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 aquatic science video, 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.
Aquatic science students and adult learners may navigate the online student portal. For teachers, the Teachers Guide is loaded with science investigations, games, models, cooperative learning activities, Internet projects, readings from the student guides, short aquatic science education videos, science journals, and field based assessments of water quality and environmental conditions in a variety of outdoor education 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.
Texas Aquatic Science education includes the Texas Aquatic Science curriculum textbook, teacher guide and activities, aquatic science videos, on-line lessons, and curriculum website.