2010 Fall Meeting          
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Cite abstracts as Author(s) (2010), Title, Abstract xxxxx-xxxx presented at 2010 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 13-17 Dec.

HR: 1340h
AN: ED53A-0522 Poster
TI: Short-term data collection projects: A means to increase teacher content knowledge and bring authentic research experiences into the classroom
AU: *Gaboardi, M
EM: mgaboardi@lsi.fsu.edu
AF: Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
AU: Parker, W
EM: wparker@fsu.edu
AF: Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
AU: Rodriguez, D
EM: cdrodriguez@me.com
AF: Swift Creek Middle School, Tallahassee, FL, USA
AB: Short-term field research projects were embedded into a two-week, Mathematics and Science Partnership-funded, teacher institute devoted to increasing content knowledge about the physical basis of climate change. Teams of four teachers were encouraged to ask any research question related to weather or climate, and create a data collection method that they thought might help answer their question. They were provided with a range of measurement devices, from simple immersible thermometers to light sensors, probeware, and carbon dioxide concentration sensors. Teams were expected to design data collection sites in a middle-school setting, present site designs to their peers, collect data, present initial results, and participate in peer-review about site design and data collected. Teachers were encouraged to generate research questions that could be replicated with their students at their schools. Design complexity ranged widely with some teachers deliberately choosing to model sites their students might design and others making full use of more sophisticated technology. On the third day of the institute, each group presented their research question and setup for data collection in poster format. Large gaps in understanding about testable questions and effective data collection methods were apparent. Instead of addressing errors as groups presented, facilitators encouraged participants to explore each groups’ presentation and make comments using post-it notes. Participants were then encouraged to respond to the comments and consider modifying their questions, site designs, or data collection methods. Teams gathered data up to three times daily and were fully responsible for choosing means of data organization; by the second week most were using and becoming familiar with Microsoft Excel. Final presentations were in Microsoft PowerPoint. Teams were expected to graphically report data, present possible interpretations, and discuss any problems related to their initial questions or methods. All teams reported problems with their work and identified improvements for future research. Teachers reported that the field component was very helpful to their understanding of the process of science and to deepening their content knowledge about climate change research. Additionally they reported that they were much more likely to include short-term research projects in their own classrooms as a result of this experience. Short-term data collection experiences such as these can serve to: - Encourage teachers to provide students with the opportunity to develop their own questions, and design methods to answer those questions; - Expose teachers to common pitfalls in data collection methods so that teachers can later guide students as students encounter similar problems; - Familiarize teachers with widely available technology used to record and present data; - Refine teacher understanding of research and improve likelihood of success on longer research projects; - Enable teachers to look at data sets more critically and in more depth; - Better understand how to construct, read, and interpret data tables and graphs; and - Increase depth of understanding of science content.
DE: [0830] EDUCATION / Teacher training
DE: [1699] GLOBAL CHANGE / General or miscellaneous
SC: Education and Human Resources (ED)
MN: 2010 Fall Meeting