STEM

Citizen science is a valuable and innovative tool to engage NPA visitors in in situ scientific data collection while at the same time contributes to long-term spatial and temporal scale species monitoring. As part of a National Science Foundation funded project, Para la Naturaleza (PLN) a unit of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico developed a new environmental education model to engage citizens to become stewards of nature. Historically, PLN trained environment educators to provide a tour within the NPA that is included information about the cultural, history and conservation value of the place. In recent years, however, PLN made a bold move to provide visitors with citizen science experiences to collect scientific data on biodiversity and state of the environment within the NPA. Here we document the adaptation and the role of environmental educators in providing research collaborators and visitors with relevant logistical and field support.

This in-progress interdisciplinary and mixed-methods project combines elementary science education and sustainable architecture to better understand the ways in which 5th grade students understand green building elements, ecosystems, and the interrelationships between the two.

We will share our approach and findings on opportunities and challenges associated with directly assessing volunteers’ skills in the context of citizen science. We will focus on embedded assessments and will discuss your experience, perspective and questions with this method to understand participants’ skills and even behavioral change.

Receive links to newly researched/developed resource-linked climate change concept maps and NGSS weather-climate strand maps. Imagine expanding these metacognitive tools to a collaborative Metacognition Toolbox to assist learning about and acting on "wicked big problems." Bring your favorite thinking tools and contribute to the structure of such a box!

Mobile and field technologies can enhance outdoor education for digital natives. Presenters will discuss hardware and software considerations of selecting technologies to engage today’s youth in the outdoors. Case study examples will include the Water Quality mobile app and Digital Observation Technology Skills (DOTS) kits.

After years of ineffective recruitment of Hispanic youth at an ecology summer camp in rural Florida, a partnership with an employer started a customized camp for the children of the employees. Learn the story of why the partnership worked and what we’ve learned after three summers.

Gray infrastructure is hard and angular. Green infrastructure is soft and rounded. Your students can transform gray into green, while learning myriad environmental concepts, life-long civic skills, and the practice of science and engineering. A bonus: improved water quality on your campus.

An urban school builds a tiny home to help solve the homeless crisis. Students learn more than carpentry as they focus on social justice and environmental awareness. We will discuss the benefits and obstacles of the project. Furthermore, we will uncover student achievement academically and increased understanding of environmental justice.

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