New Scripps fellowship program brings cutting-edge earth systems science into San Diego middle and high schools
National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Scripps Institution ofOceanography at UC San Diego a $3 million grant to fund a newGK-12 program that pairs Scripps earth systems science students with highschool science teachers and their classes. The five-year grantprovides funding for nine new Scripps graduate students fellows eachyear.
The program is aimed at improving communication skills of Scrippsgraduate students by giving them teaching experience in middle andhigh school classrooms. In turn, it promotes and energizes the earthsystems science curriculum in schools, improving Earth scienceliteracy, which is fundamental to society’s efforts to effectivelysteward our fragile planet. Through this partnership, Scripps hopesto more effectively translate its discoveries in earth scienceresearch into exciting new earth science education for the nextgeneration of aspiring young scientists.
"This is an exciting opportunity for me to explore the world ofteaching and share my enthusiasm for science with the nextgeneration," said Elizabeth Johnstone, Scripps graduate studentfellow. "Hopefully, some of the high school students will realizethat science is cool and pursue their own scientific endeavors."
The first nine Scripps graduate student fellows and their partnerearth systems teachers from seven schools in the San Diego UnifiedSchool District have begun a four-week summer training program onthe Scripps campus. During this orientation, which began on June 22,fellows and teachers are engaging in team-building activities andteachers are getting the opportunity to connect more closely to theresearch and researchers at Scripps.
This initial training is preparing fellows and teachers for theupcoming academic year, during which the graduate student-teacherpairs will bring enhanced earth systems science lessons to theclassroom. Scripps graduate student fellows will spend on average 10hours per week working in the classroom directly with sciencestudents.
The program is administered by project director Hubert Staudigel, aScripps research geophysicist, and co-principal investigators TonyHaymet, Scripps director, Cheryl Peach, Scripps academiccoordinator, and Lisa Tauxe, professor of geophysics.
"Bringing Scripps’ research strengths in earth sciences to SanDiego-area classrooms through interaction with our talented graduatestudents is a perfect hybrid of our mission to seek, teach, andcommunicate scientific understanding of our planet for the benefitof society," said Haymet. "I’m very excited to see how all partiesbenefit from this unique collaboration."
This year’s Scripps graduate student fellows (and their Scrippsfaculty advisors) are David Clark (Falk Feddersen and Bob Guza),Sylvia Cole (Dan Rudnick), Moira Decima (Michael Landry), ElizabethJohnstone (Neal Driscoll), Deborah Kane (Frank Vernon), AlisonCawood (Mark Ohman), Jared Kluesner (Peter Lonsdale), MiriamGoldstein (Jim Leichter), and Geoffrey Gearheart (Gerald Kooyman).
High school teachers in the 2009 program are Jon Corbin, Mission BayHigh School; Stephen Halpern, San Diego High School – Media, Visual,and Performing Arts; Malana Tabak, Kearny High School; Mark Snow,Mira Mesa High School; Dave Van Dusen, San Diego School of Creativeand Performing Arts; Susan Weinshanker, Mission Bay High School;Tara Howell, University City High School; Maureen Queensbury,University City High School; Maitravee Sahi, and Kearny High School— International Business.
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