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AMSTI-GLOBE Promotes GLOBE Days and Science on a Sphere at ASTA Conference

children looking at a powerpoint

AMSTI-GLOBE a Partnership between the GLOBE Program and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), was busy last year with a host of events. On 12-13 October, fifth through eighth grade Stevenson Middle School students spent two days exploring Earth and environmental science activities during GLOBE Days in Stevenson, Alabama. GLOBE was integrated through Hydrology, Land Cover, and a number of GPS activities including geocaching, races, and mapping games. The event was organized by GLOBE Science teacher Becky McCoy, with assistance from AMSTI-GLOBE specialists Lynn Vaughan, Jerry Cobbs, Reba Turk, and Paul Lackey. Teachers, staff members, and guests from the local 4-H Club, the National Weather Service, the Alabama Department of Conservation, and the "Call Before You Dig" program also assisted. The data that the students collected were entered into the GLOBE database following the event. Students are already excited about the Fourth Annual GLOBE Days event in 2011.

Light up blue globe

On 26-27 October 2010, AMSTI-GLOBE hosted a visit from Gary Randolph and Eric Carpenter from the GLOBE Program Office (GPO), who were in Birmingham for the Alabama Science Teachers Association (ASTA) annual meeting and conference in Birmingham. In addition to staffing an exhibit table at the conference, Randolph and Carpenter took advantage of a unique opportunity afforded by the conference venue, the McWane Science Center in Birmingham. The McWane Center is one of a number of science museums around the USA to host NOAA's "Science On a Sphere" (SOS) exhibit, a room-sized, global system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot (1.8m) diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. The Sphere is capable of displaying animations from the GLOBE Earth System Poster Activities. AMSTI-GLOBE has developed additional materials to create a "GLOBE Science On a Sphere Field Trip" package for teachers who wish to bring students to the museum. Throughout the conference, Randolph gave several presentations of the Sphere for teachers visiting the venue.

children and teachers doing experiments.

In addition to presenting at the conference, Randolph and Carpenter visited two regional centers and spent a morning visiting classrooms at Gardendale Elementary, a GLOBE school in Gardendale, Alabama. The students were excited to meet them and asked questions about GLOBE while also demonstrating what they have learned about their environment. State AMSTI Director Steve Ricks and State Senator Scott Beason were on hand to assist, and to show their support for their GLOBE students.

GLOBE program sign and desk.

On 30 April 2010, the AMSTI site at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (AMSTI-UAH) held an open house to show its appreciation to the schools, teachers, and community in the Northeast Alabama region, including one room of the AMSTI-UAH office suite entirely dedicated to GLOBE. Visitors were able to see examples of GLOBE equipment used by students, including an instrument shelter used for Atmosphere measurements, hydrology tools, soil equipment, and GPS receivers. Computers were also available for visitors to browse the GLOBE website, practice with the GPS simulator module on the GLOBE GPDI page, and watch a video made by a local second-grade GLOBE class who took a soil characterization sample using the auger method. AMSTI science specialists were on hand to explain the program and demonstrate the equipment and materials. Enthusiastic comments such as, "I wish they'd had this when I was in school!" could be heard consistently throughout the demonstration.

History of AMSTI-GLOBE Partnership

Laptop and science equipment.

GLOBE has been supported by AMSTI since 2003. Originally known as "GLOBE in Alabama," the formal Partnership with AMSTI was completed in 2006. Since April 2003, the partnership has held 62 teacher-training workshops, training 12,614 teachers. There are currently 1,027 GLOBE Schools in the state of Alabama. AMSTI-GLOBE has also conducted four Train-the-Trainer Workshops and several partner-hosted trainer sessions in order to develop a cadre of experienced GLOBE Trainers. GLOBE Schools in Alabama have submitted over 200,000 measurements to the GLOBE international scientific database. The AMSTI-GLOBE Partnership is administered by several contributing coordinators. Mrs. Robin Nelson, Science Administrator for the Alabama Department of Education, oversees all GLOBE Science curricula within AMSTI. Mrs. Lynn Vaughan, statewide GLOBE Resource Specialist, provides mentoring and support to all GLOBE schools in the state, assisting teachers directly in the classroom with protocols, implementation strategies, and data entry. Dr. Jerry Cobbs, AMSTI webmaster and Technology Specialist, maintains data entry and web-based resources for GLOBE. AMSTI has developed an extensive library of specialized resources for GLOBE teachers, including teaching guides, activity pages, video podcasts, and screen-capture data entry tutorials. All of these are available on the AMSTI website.

desk with GLOBE logo

AMSTI has a staff of over 120 math and science specialists, housed in 11 regional in-service centers across the state. All AMSTI science specialists are trained in GLOBE Protocols relevant to the grade levels they support. These specialists make frequent contact with GLOBE schools and teachers in their regions, offering mentoring, model lessons, and assistance with equipment and data entry. GLOBE Protocols and activities are divided by grade level and aligned with national standards and the state Course of Study for science. Each grade level includes from two to four protocols integrated into their studies. Grade-level appropriate activities and supporting materials have been developed and are provided for each teacher. The Alabama Course of Study/GLOBE alignments are available from the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE).

Read more about the AMSTI-GLOBE partnership.

  • View resources for GLOBE/Science on a Sphere Field Trips.
  • More photos from the GPO visit are available on the GLOBE Science Network Facebook page.

28 February 2011