AUSTIN, Texas—The National Science Foundation has awarded the Environmental Science Institute at The University of Texas at Austin $1.52 million to partner graduate students in the sciences with K-12 teachers in Texas to enhance science education through new classroom activities, workshops and field projects.
The program will build on existing outreach activities involving the university and local school systems within Texas. These include the Marine Science Institute’s Study of Arctic Change, The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics Adopt-A-School, Teachers in the Field and TEXTEAMS Leadership Training for teachers of the Texas high school course, Geology, Meteorology and Oceanography and the Environmental Science Institute/Department of Geological Sciences Outreach Lecture Series.
The three-year project will provide support for nine graduate fellows and four advanced undergraduate fellows each year to serve as resources for K-12 students and teachers in science and mathematics in Texas. The program will emphasize collaboration in K-12 classrooms and in field projects on Texas watersheds, estuaries and ocean-going vessels.
“The project will provide K-12 teachers and students with recent knowledge and innovative learning strategies in the areas of biology, environmental science, aquatic science, geology and oceanography,” said lead investigator Dr. Kenneth Dunton of the Marine Science Institute. “By having (graduate) K-12 fellows in the classroom, participating teachers will be able to provide more creative and challenging classroom experiences for their students.”
Principal investigators for the project are Drs. Dunton, Jay Banner of the Department of Geological Sciences, Ian Dalziel and Katherine Ellins of The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, and James Barufaldi of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Banner also is director of the Environmental Science Institute.
Details of the program can be found at: <http://www.geo.utexas.edu/esi/gk12/>. For more information, contact:
The Environmental Studies Institute brings together faculty and students in the life, Earth, physical and social sciences at The University of Texas at Austin to form a focused, interdisciplinary program of environmental research to understand the complex interactions of the biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere in the Earth system, as well as the human dimensions of these interactions.
The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics is a member of the new Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Institute researchers investigate the dynamic geophysical processes that influence Earth’s structure and climate. They also develop new mathematical models, data processing and imaging techniques that are relevant to natural resource exploration and the assessment of geologic hazards.
The University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas is dedicated to education, research and service as they apply to the Texas coastal zone. The Institute is an organized research unit of the University of Texas at Austin and emphasizes basic and applied research aimed at understanding the biological, chemical and physical processes governing the coastal zone ecosystem.
For further information contact: Richard Bonnin (512) 471-3151.