New York Teachers Learn Implementation Techniques at GLOBE Training
The Daily Star recently featured Dr. Todd Ellis, Director of the Central New York GLOBE Partnership and Assistant Professor of Meteorology at The State University of New York (SUNY) in Oneonta, for a GLOBE Training Workshop on Environmental Teaching Strategies held at the university for both teachers and education students. From 9-12 August 2010, 12 participants, including 4 pre-service teachers, were introduced to GLOBE, emphasizing the importance of firsthand observations in environmental student learning techniques.
GLOBE colleagues Deanna TeBockhorst, Director, CloudSat Schools Network, CloudSat Education Outreach, Colorado State University, and Peter Falcon from the NASA CloudSat mission assisted Ellis in conducting this successful training. Participants performed Atmosphere Protocols, Hydrology Protocols, and investigated the Carbon Cycle. Ellis presented a model for incorporating GLOBE Protocols into the classroom and allowed participants the opportunity to practice these techniques. Participants spent the first half of each day outdoors at SUNY College Campus while taking a fresh look at learning techniques and what it means to observe in order to foster student inquiry. Participants spent the second half of each day indoors working through exercises, sharing materials, and allocating resources. Ellis notes that "It is important for teachers to experience what inquiry looks and feels like in the classroom."
While Ellis has actively participated with GLOBE as a trainer for the past six years, his partnership through SUNY Oneonta is in its first year. Ellis plans to continue to offer implementation workshops in addition to mini-courses on environmental observation on a yearly basis. Ellis focuses student research on the importance of observing rainfall as well as understanding the roles clouds and rain play in regulating climate. He teaches his students to generate questions such as "What makes clouds appear the way they do?" Last summer, Ellis conducted a CloudSat Education Network (CEN) training in Costa Rica where he spoke about how to leverage the different types of clouds seen in the cloud forest versus the rainforest and the coastal regions and Ellis taught how GLOBE observations enable students to explore the differences between those varied climates. He also recently conducted one of the ESSP Professional Development Workshops on CloudSat at the 14th GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting in Calgary, Canada.
Ellis works enthusiastically to involve more New York schools in NASA's CloudSat mission and to utilize the many creeks and river valley plains in Central New York by studying and incorporating Hydrology Protocols into the current CloudSat research being conducted. Prior to the training Ellis stated, "I am excited to be offering my first training as a U.S. GLOBE Partner and look forward to assisting teachers in using their data to ask and answer scientific questions."
Thank you to the SUNY Department of Earth Sciences for hosting this workshop and to the CloudSat mission and related education network for their research contributions to the GLOBE Program. For information, contact Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 September 2010