Related Research Areas
Climate Variability & Change

Climate change science is becoming a more frequent and integral part of the middle school curriculum. This project, NASA Data in My Field Trip, proposes to leverage a new regional network of Informal Science Institutions (ISIs) committed to climate change literacy, the Global Climate Change Consortium (GC3) to support formal education and to foster climate change literacy by creating opportunities for inquirybased exploration of NASA data and products in class and as part of already established field trip experiences to ISIs. The ISIs of GC3 include a broad range of science-based institutions including Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH), Carnegie Science Center (CSC), Phipps Conservatory, the National Aviary, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium (PZA). The partner school districts include two urban districts, Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and Wilkinsburg School District. NASA Data in My Field Trip will build innovative connections among NASA data and products, and ISI resources and experiences, curriculum standards, and educators in formal and informal environments. It has three components: (1) joint professional development for formal and informal educators, (2) in-class pre-field trip data explorations, and (3) the integration of NASA resources into ISI field trip experiences. In the first phase of NASA Data in My Field Trip, CMNH and CSC will pilot NASA resources as central components of middle school climate change field trips as well as in pre-visit experiences. In the second phase, three other GC3 ISIs will tailor the pilot products to their climate change field trips. In both phases, formal and informal educators will participate in joint professional development. Alignment with the districts' curriculum and formative evaluation is critical at all steps of this project and will guide and inform the implementation of the project through both phases. The success of the project will be measured in terms of (1) educators’ attitudes towards and ability to use NASA resources in their climate change lessons, (2) the effectiveness of in-class and field trip experiences for students, (3) the development of a community of practice among informal and formal educators, and (4) the adoption of NASA data and products into ISI and formal programming outside of the project's specified reach. A primary strength of this project is that it includes ISIs that have a commitment to climate change literacy but have not previously connected with NASA or its resources. The tools and techniques developed in this project can be tailored to a diversity of ISIs and can therefore serve as a replicable model for expanding the expectations for and use of NASA data and products throughout the ISI field. As the lead organization, CMNH will be responsible for creating professional development products as well as pre-visit and field trip experiences using NASA resources. CMNH will also coordinate with curriculum supervisors at the partner districts and informal educators in the GC3 network to provide overall management, scheduling, and reporting for the project. With new competencies and processes in place, each ISI will be positioned to modify and update visitor experiences to include new NASA data and products in the institution's messages.

Project PI: Kerry Handron/CARNEGIE INSTITUTE



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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