The University of New Mexico hosts the third annual Earth Educators’ Rendezvous July 17-21. The event, which will be held at UNM Student Union Building and various other locations on campus, brings together researchers and practitioners working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education, including a mix of college faculty, graduate students, and K-12 teachers from all disciplines who are interested in improving their teaching about Earth.
The Earth Educators’ Rendezvous is supported by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). It consists of a combination of workshops, posters, talks, round-table discussions, and plenary presentations designed to help guide participants through a suite of interrelated challenges that are characteristic of Earth Education in schools, colleges, and universities.
“The program, which is only in its third year, has become the premier meeting for geoscience education, drawing close to 400 people this year,” said UNM Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor Gary Weissmann, and serving as local host. It is designed to appeal to everyone from the instructor attending their first Earth education-themed meeting, to experienced STEM education researchers, to administrators who want to better support students in their programs.
Among many options, participants can learn about new teaching approaches, discover opportunities to get involved in research programs, prepare for an academic career, or discuss how to approach teaching and learning challenges in their classroom.
A few of the overall workshop goals include:
- providing instructors who are teaching Earth topics at all educational levels (K-16) with examples of instructional strategies that have been shown to improve student learning
- addressing teaching challenges specific to particular settings (e.g., large classes, labs, field work), topics (e.g., teaching about sustainability, atmospheric science), or skills (e.g., spatial reasoning)
- developing students' competency in a range of geoscientific tasks that involve higher order skills such as systems thinking, data analysis and quantitative skills
- supporting instructors and administrators in creating lessons and programming to increase the number and diversity of students who learn about Earth
Morning workshops and working groups will meet for two or three days. Workshops are interactive, with participants learning from experts and from one another in formats that build on research-based pedagogies. The extended lunch hour provides a break and an opportunity to network with colleagues.
Poster sessions will begin during the lunch hour on two days and the posters will remain available through the close of the day's program, with authors present after afternoon sessions. Sessions will range from a focus on program or curricular change (e.g. adding service learning or sustainability education) or technique to a broad challenge faced by our community (e.g. increasing the diversity of your graduates or creating an effective assessment program).
For more information, visit Earth Educators’ Rendezvous 2017.