From the Desk of a GLOBE Teacher – Part 4: Participating in a GLOBE Virtual Student Conference

This week we have a guest blogger, Ms. Marcy Burns.  Ms. Burns is a fifth grade teacher at Main Street Intermediate School in Norwalk, Ohio.  As a participant of phase one of the Learning2Research Project, her students were able to submit a project and participate in the first virtual conference and she feels The GLOBE Program has been a great tool for engaging her students in science inquiry.

It is May, and that means it is time for the 2013 GLOBE Virtual Student Conference. My fifth graders have been working very hard on their GLOBE projects this year. They are looking forward to sharing their work with other GLOBE students, and seeing what other schools have done to learn about and care for the earth.

The first virtual conference that my class participated in was in May of 2012. I did not know what to expect. After watching the project videos that were submitted by schools across the United States I discovered that the most valuable thing that was done during the school year that made the virtual conference an engaging experience was building relationships with other GLOBE students. My students investigated GLOBE data from other schools worldwide to find out what their climate was like. Several times during the year we used SKYPE to talk with students from Crenshaw School located on the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas about the progress of our inquiry projects. The third thing that helped my students make connections to others in the GLOBE Program was to participate in the Surface Temperature Field Campaign along with many schools all over the world.

Main Street School students talking to fifth graders at Crenshaw School in Bolivar Peninsula, TX via Skype about their work with GLOBE protocols.

Main Street School students talking to fifth graders at Crenshaw School in Bolivar Peninsula, TX via Skype about their work with GLOBE protocols. Photo courtesy M. Burns.

On the opening day of the virtual conference in 2012, anticipation was very high for my classes. We made it a festive occasion. The students invited guests, including the superintendent of our schools to participate. A big world map was placed on the wall so that the location of each school could be marked before we watched and commented on their project video. My students were eager to see and hear GLOBE friends again. The virtual conference was a highlight of the school year.

Main Street Students give the "thumbs up" to the GLOBE 2012 Virtual Student Conference.

Main Street Students give the “thumbs up” to the GLOBE 2012 Virtual Student Conference. Photo courtesy M. Burns.

Suggested Activity: What are some ways that your class has made connections with others about the science you are doing? How do you celebrate the Science inquiry work of your students? Also, be sure to visit the GLOBE website and look around the 2013 Virtual Conference.

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