Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Conference Features Study on Effectiveness of Texas Aquatic Sciences Education Curriculum
CORPUS CHRISTI, September, 20, 2016 — Results of study of the effectiveness of the Texas Aquatic Sciences education pathway was presented at the 66th Annual Convention of the Gulf Coast Geological Societies Convention and meeting of the Gulf Coast Section of the Society of Sedimentary Geologists.
Johnnie Smith, Conservation Education Manager at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department presented the results of the study at the conference in Corpus Christi on September 20, 2016.
The presentation was part of a session on “Geo Education” at the geological societies conference. The presentation was titled: Aquatic Sciences Education Pathway from Headwaters to Ocean is a Model for Place-Based Experiential Learning for Protecting and Stewarding Gulf States’ Freshwater and Marine Resources. The authors are authors are Rudolph A. Rosen, visiting professor and director of the Institute for Water Resources Science and Technology at Texas A&M University in San Antonio, Erin Scanlon, Texas State University in San Marcos, and Johnnie Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Austin.
Analysis of study results was conducted by Erin Scanlon, a Ph.D. student at Texas State. The overall study was conducted by researchers working through the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Institute for Water Resources Science and Technology at Texas A&M University in San Antonio, and educators at Texas Parks and Wildlife. An earlier H2O articled featured researcher Erin Scanlon and the research project.
For a copy of the presentation please click the button below:
Aquatic Sciences Education Pathway from Headwaters to Ocean is a Model for Place-Based Experiential Learning for Protecting and Stewarding Gulf States’ Freshwater and Marine Resources, by Rudolph A. Rosen1, Erin Scanlon2, and Johnnie Smith3
1Texas A&M University–San Antonio, One University Way, San Antonio, Texas 78224
2Texas State University, 601 University Dr., San Marcos, Texas 78666
3Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, Texas 78744
GCAGS Explore & Discover Article #00034*
*Abstract extracted from a full paper published in the GCAGS Transactions (see footnote reference below), which is available as part of the entire 2016 GCAGS Transactions volume via the GCAGS Bookstore at the Bureau of Economic Geology (www.beg.utexas.edu) or as an individual document via AAPG Datapages, Inc. (www.datapages.com), and delivered as an oral presentation at the 66th Annual GCAGS Convention and 63rd Annual GCSSEPM Meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas, September 18–20, 2016.
Teachers, students and parents today have a bewildering and fast-moving array of technology innovations that purportedly will help students learn and teachers teach. Unfortunately, it is hard for anyone to grasp what works, let alone what works best. The Texas Aquatic Sciences education pathway has become a model for enhanced water education that has rapidly risen to the top of search engine rankings for aquatic sciences education. 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. The researchers heard that to effectively new technology and materials into regular use that there needed to be a context for use.
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 initiative expanded through support from over 20 partners and multiple funders to develop that context. 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.
Project partners published a comprehensive textbook available in print and on-line versions, assembled a teacher guide with instructional and assessment materials that allowed integration of technology enhancements, produced videos and enhancement materials, and developed a field site program connecting aquatic science in the classroom with educators and outdoor place-based experiential learning in the field. This provided a comprehensive context for instruction of middle and high school students, and served as a basis for aquatic science instruction at the college level for non-science majors, in the home-school environment, and to anyone wanting to learn about nature and water. Curricula met Texas teaching standards for relevant principles of geology, geography, chemistry, physics, ecology, and biology in the text and associated teaching materials. Experience and results of research to date demonstrate integrating education enhancements into a comprehensive curricula enhance student learning and teacher ability to provide meaningful instruction. We believe the model can be used for developing science education curricula in other areas of environmental sustainability, such as for watershed science, land conservation, or coastal areas management.
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.