Stars and STEM Stories
Research in the Classroom with The GLOBE Program: Teamwork, Field Work and a Happy Outcome at the GLOBE LAC Regional Meeting in Panama
Motivating students to do scientific research is one of the greatest teaching challenges. This can be achieved through the application of The GLOBE Program.
This year Prof. María Inés Amato (St. Luke's College, Buenos Aires, Argentina) set out with her Senior 3 students to start working on the Tree protocol. At first, she told them about The GLOBE Program, its objectives and the protocol. She also mentioned The GLOB Program's app, GLOBE Observer. The students liked the idea and together, they started planning their work.
It was divided into several parts; teamwork was the main thing but there were other aspects. To do this, Amato organized the protocol as follows: the students started studying the trees in school, they used the GLOBE Observer app, and then they started organizing their research of their study area from different points of view. It was essential for Amato to carry out a training with the students. To do this, she invited the GLOBE Regional Coordinator, Mariana Savino, and the Mentor Trainer, Ana Prieto to their school. The training day was extraordinary. Amato says, "Watching my students be attentive, making measurements, and participating in the fieldwork that was done was wonderful. It became a motivating day. I realized that there is another way to learn, enriching, understanding and to be able to develop in students a more global analysis of our area of study. It's amazing to watch my students happy about their accomplishments. For me, it was a source of pride."
Now it was time to participate in several webinars for the GLOBE "Trees within LAC" campaign. When the possibility of submitting research reports to travel to the 2023 Regional Meeting in Panama was announced, Amato thought it was a very good possibility and that her Senior 3 students were prepared to go if given the opportunity. Amazingly, the preliminary work in their area of study had been submitted and was selected. "The big day arrived; How do I tell my students that our work has been chosen? We were part of the six selected research papers! Thrilling." But, the most important decision for Amato was to decide which student was going to accompany her to Panama. Choosing to represent their school -- and Argentina -- was not an easy task. Her student, Pilar Bartrons, was the most outstanding; the choice was based on their effort, dedication and tenacity in research. From there, the clock was ticking very fast. Amato's mentor trainer, Claudia Caro Vera, continuously accompanied her in the correction of work and the poster that was going to be presented.
On 11 October, the Panama 2023 Regional Meeting began. All of the agendas for both students and teachers were excellently prepared. It was an unforgettable few days. Amato continues, "I have to admit that the most anticipated day was the afternoon of the Cultural Exchange and the presentation of our work. I observed my student Pilar and I felt proud of her performance in the explanation, in the answers to different questions. In addition, we think of every detail to exhibit about our culture and gastronomy at our stand. My gaze and my thoughts, I thought that something had been done very well and I was living it live and direct." Another long-awaited day was the day of the Annular Solar Eclipse. Amato notes that seeing the eclipse was the best experience she has ever had, one she will never forget. The joint work, the measurements, the rain but then the clear sky, made it possible to observe the eclipse.
Pilar Bartrons, the student who presented the research in Panama, says, "One of the most enriching experiences of my life was being able to travel to Panama to present the research project we carried out with my classmates. It was a wonderful experience, as not only did I have the opportunity to meet outstanding scientists, both from NASA and The GLOBE Program, but they also made me feel part of their community. When it was time to present the work, I received compliments and was faced with different questions, which I was able to solve thanks to my research. In addition, during this trip, I had the extraordinary opportunity to conduct interviews with scientists and members of GLOBE, an experience that I was grateful for that will be etched in my memory. I remember Dr. Erika Podes' advice to continue to expand the work to include carbon emission and how it affects our area. Exploring Panama City was fascinating. On a day of great expectation, despite the rain, we managed to make measurements during the annular solar eclipse. The image of that moment remains unforgettable; Witnessing the eclipse was truly amazing. Fortunately, I shared this journey with very nice people, which contributed to us having incredible moments."
GLOBE unites borders, students, teachers, scientists, scientific research, experiences, and manages to train, share, learn, but also makes people feel that many people seek a better world and are committed to the care of the planet.
"All of this is achieved with a great GLOBE team to which I am grateful. Thank you GLOBE! Thank you Mariana Savino, Ma Marta Kingsland, Claudia Caro Vera, Andrea Ventoso and Ana Prieto, for your generosity, for your excellent predisposition for all of us to be GLOBE! Let's continue on this wonderful path called The GLOBE Program!" - Prof. María Inés Amato
Images courtesy Prof. María Inés Amato, St. Luke's College, Escobar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.