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Oklahoma Partner Obtains Grant to Reinforce GLOBE in the Classroom

GLOBE Partner and Trainer, Dr. Cathy Lightsey, was awarded the SET GO Grant by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (OK EPSCoR), creating opportunities for elementary and secondary science teachers in Oklahoma to receive training in GLOBE protocol implementation, as well as obtain additional materials for their classrooms. EPSCoR works to strengthen Oklahoma's exploration and growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The grant supports this effort by providing funds for a two-day workshop each summer for three years; each workshop will train up to 25 teachers.

Since its establishment by the National Science Foundation in 1985, the central goal of EPSCoR has been to "increase the state's research competitiveness through strategic support of research instruments and facilities, research collaborations, and integrated education and research programs." EPSCoR is funded through awards from the National Science Foundation and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The 2011 SET GO workshop was held from 10-11 June at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma. The event provided hands-on training in the use of GLOBE protocols and equipment to several Oklahoma public school science educators.

GLOBE teacher Teresa Crenshaw from Haworth Elementary School stated, "The hands-on protocols taught by GLOBE will extend learning and develop growth in concept seeking, problem-solving, and process skills which I feel are at the heart of science."

Participating teachers received inquiry-based training in GLOBE Hydrology Protocols including Water Transparency, Water Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Salinity, pH, and Alkalinity; Atmosphere Protocols including Cloud, Aerosols, Water Vapor, Barometric Pressure, Relative Humidity, Precipitation, and Max/Min/Current Air Temperature; Land Cover Protocols including Land Cover Sample Site, Biometry, and Manual Land Cover Mapping; and GPS Measurement Protocol.

Lucille Turner, GLOBE teacher at Colbert Westward Elementary School stated, "I teach science to first and second grade students. The GLOBE Earth System Science Unit and Cloud protocols from the GLOBE workshop contain many ideas that I will implement into my weather unit. Because of the SET GO workshop, I will have a more successful year teaching my students."

Following the two-day GLOBE training seminar, teachers obtained the necessary equipment to begin implementing GLOBE in their classrooms. Teachers are currently utilizing these resources on a daily basis and continue to receive guidance from GLOBE facilitators. Teachers in Oklahoma work with their students to submit measurements to the GLOBE database and will provide a reflective essay at the end of the school year detailing how the use of GLOBE activities, materials, and protocols in their curriculum has changed and improved education in their classrooms.

GLOBE teacher Wendy Young at Ft. Towson Elementary School stated, "The instructional workshop has been a phenomenal addition to my fifth-grade classroom! We have used the cloud charts, the dissolved oxygen kit, and are recording max/min temperatures on a regular basis."

In addition to her position as a GLOBE Trainer, Dr. Lightsey is an assistant professor of educational instruction and leadership at Southeastern Oklahoma State University - McCurtain County Campus (SOSU-MCC) and a consultant for local high school science departments. She also writes grants to provide equipment and training for public school educators. SOSU-MCC has been a GLOBE Partner since May 2007. The mission of the partnership is to provide an "inquiry-based" methods course for elementary science education majors and to provide local school districts with in-service and classroom workshops and activities.

"I have been so fortunate to be associated with the GLOBE program as a trainer of in-service and pre-service teachers. I believe in the "hands-on" approach that is so vital to the program and which allows students to gain so much experience and knowledge in the collection of scientific data and the collaboration with others. I love the enthusiasm with which GLOBE-trained teachers return to their classrooms and I know that their students benefit from the challenges of learning and sharing scientific information," said Dr. Lightsey.

The GLOBE Program Office would like to thank all GLOBE partners for being proactive and engaging students in scientific investigations, thus complementing their textbook education with firsthand observation. The GLOBE Program Office would like to thank each and every educator and partnership that makes this possibility a reality.

Read more about student application of GLOBE Atmosphere, Hydrology, and Land Cover protocols:

Visit the OK EPSCoR website.

Learn more about the National Science Foundation.

Read more about Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.