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New GLOBE Initiatives at Queens College, NY

Peter SchmidtI started two initiatives this year that I am particularly excited about. Anyone that knows me understands that I am easily excitable but these are something special. The first is a pilot program that was initiated at the request of one of the NY City DOE’s Science Coordinators. It is to train a cadre (10 to 12) of high school teachers to use GLOBE resources and methods to teach a college level research class in their high schools.    

In addition to the GLOBE training the teachers will be coached on how to plan, apply, and receive approval to teach the GLOBE class as an elective that qualifies as a College Preparedness level class for their school. This designation is important because it is one of the parameters that schools are graded on and reflects directly on the Principal’s evaluation. If the principal approves the class he or she now has a vested interest in seeing it be a success. I have seen many a teacher’s efforts to establish GLOBE research with their students thwarted by the many often conflicting demands on the school’s principal. Now he or she will be on our side. If DOE determines this is worthwhile I’ll be doing more next year.

The other initiative is that I was asked to develop a summer science program, based on GLOBE research, for students in the College’s College Now Program for high school students. The classes will be modeled on what students experience during a GLOBE GLE and the regular GLOBE research class I run for teachers. After basic instruction in understanding protocols, proper use of equipment (including calibration), and how to develop (realistic) research questions the students will spend several days conducting field research in nearby parks and will get experience collecting data, analyzing it and presenting it to others in their classes. They will build skills and confidence so that they can present a culmination of their research to a large audience. We will be hiring two NY City teachers that have been doing GLOBE in their schools as adjunct professors to teach each of the two sections. Hopefully we may see these projects show up in the GLOBE International Virtual Science Symposium or in the Regional Student Research Symposia (SRS).

Freeport Students at SRS
Freeport High Students at the 2019 SRS

Speaking of the SRS, teams from schools in our partnership have participated in each one; thank you Mahopac High School, from Mahopac NY and Freeport High School from Freeport NY.

On a regular basis at Queens College we run a three credit GLOBE research class as part of the Secondary Education Departments MTA program for graduate students returning to get teacher certification in science. I‘m particularly pleased with this course as it’s the first course they take when they start the program. We used to run the course in June but we moved it into July so that in-service teachers could be part of the class. Their participation adds a lot to the overall value of the class.

We annually offer at least one free three-day GLOBE certification workshop for teachers, but this year we changed it up a bit. Becca Hathaway and Melissa Rummel, from UCAR, presented a three day workshop introducing the curriculum for the new GLOBE Weather Unit for middle schools that was developed at UCAR. The attending teachers received stipends, and upon demonstrating that they used the new resources in their classes will also receive money for equipment. They have also earned GLOBE certification.

As the partner for southern NY State Queens College, GLOBE NY Metro has a couple of affiliates- American Museum of Natural History and CUNY City College- that include GLOBE training and certification as part of their teacher certification programs, usually as part of a science methods course. They have been running one or two classes a year for the last several years.

Thanks to the support and generosity of NY City Consolidated Edison (ConEd) we are able to offer every teacher that completes GLOBE certification with us a classroom set of scientific equipment and instruments needed for a suite of GLOBE protocols chosen by the teacher (about $250.00).

- Peter Schmidt, GLOBE Partner at Queens College, NY

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News origin: United States of America