Teacher Embarks on Polar Research Experiences
CSTA member Anne Marie Wotkyns, a 4th grade teacher at J.B. Monlux Math, Science, Technology Magnet Elementary School, always wanted to work with scientists in field locations, and in December she will be living her lifelong dream by joining a team of polar ice researchers in Antarctica for seven weeks studying sea ice processes, biology, oceanography, and biochemistry in the Amundsen Sea along the coast of Antarctica.
Anne Marie will travel with the science team from Punta Arenas, Chile, to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, aboard the Oden, a Swedish icebreaker designed for polar research. She will participate as a research team member in the authentic scientific expedition, joining other K-12 teachers who will be working in research locations from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica’s McMurdo Station as part of a program that allows teachers to experience first-hand what it is like to conduct scientific research in some of the most remote locations on Earth.
Teachers are selected through a nationwide search to participate in PolarTREC, an educational research experience in which K-12 teachers engage in polar research, working closely with scientists as a pathway to improving science education. Through PolarTREC, selected teachers have the rare opportunity to spend two to six weeks working with a research team in the Arctic or Antarctic. While on field expeditions, teachers and researchers will share their experiences with scientists, educators, communities, and students of all ages through the use of Internet tools such as online teacher and researcher journals, message boards, photo albums, podcasts, PolarConnect real-time presentations from the field, and online learning resources. After the field experience, teachers and researchers will continue to share their experiences with the public and create instructional activities to transfer scientific data, methodologies, and technology to classrooms.
Anne Marie will be sharing her experiences exclusively with California Classroom Science readers beginning in January, with a series of first-person reports from the field.
PolarTREC is managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and funded by the National Science Foundation. Interested teachers can visit the PolarTREC website at: http://www.polartrec.com for more information and to participate, or contact Janet Warburton or Kristin Timm, ARCUS Project Managers, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-474-1600.
The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) is based in Fairbanks, Alaska and was formed in 1988 to provide leadership in advancing knowledge and understanding of the Arctic. ARCUS is a member consortium of educational and scientific institutions. Further information is available at: http://www.arcus.org.
by Michelle French
Since the public reviews of the Next Generation Science Standards have come to a close, like many primary teachers, I’ve been wondering what science will look like in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms. Learn More…
“SOL Grotto, 2012. 1368 glass tubes, paint. Fabrication: Matarozzi Pelsinger, Rael San Fratello Architects. SOL Grotto is a contemporary take on a grotto or Throeau’s cabin – a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude and close to nature – where one is presented with a mediated experience of water, coolness and light. The SOL Grotto also explores Solyndra’s role as a company S#@t Out of Luck. 1,368 of the 24 million high tech glass tubes destined to be destroyed as a casualty of their bankruptcy, are used in the installation. The tube’s original role as a light concentrating element is extended to transmit cool air into the space via the Venturi effect, to amplify sounds from the adjacent waterfall via the vibrations of the tubes cantilevering over the creek, and to create distorted views of the garden. The form of the electric blue array evokes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where shadows, light and sounds can call reality into question.”
Responses from Readers:
Peter A’Hearn: Rush hour in little blue circle land.
by Valerie Joyner
Congratulations to CSTA member and STEM Educator, Katherine Schenkelberg, of West High School, in Torrance, CA! Katherine was recently awarded one of the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. An appointed panel of experts selected her for her innovative use of data-collection technology. “The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.” Learn More…
by Tim Williamson
Members of the California Science Teachers Association are now in the process of voting for qualified CSTA members to fill the seven openings on the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term.
The election is being conducted electronically and opened for voting on April 16, 2013. Voting will close on May 16, 2013. All CSTA members were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we do not have current email addresses or who request a paper ballot have been mailed a ballot and candidate statements. Learn More…