Educators make a House Call at GLERL
On July 15, 2009, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory [GLERL] hosted an Educator House Call. The purpose of this focus group was to advise NOAA scientists and NOAA partners on the best ways to make NOAA data available to educators with a focus on online delivery. There was also an emphasis on inquiry-based education.
The House Call brought educators to GLERL’s main laboratory in Ann Arbor. Six educators, including both classroom teachers and museum educators, were selected to represent a range of grade levels, discipline specialties, and backgrounds. Three GLERL scientists conducted presentations about data available on the GLERL website. Dr. Sandra Rutherford from Eastern Michigan also did a presentation on the NOAA ocean literacy grant project that is ongoing with the cooperation of GLERL. In the afternoon, the teachers were taken on a tour of the new GLERL facility. Lab tour stops included the Preserved Biology Lab, the Experimental Biology Lab, and the Marine Instrumentation Lab. Finally, the day ended with the educators' evaluating the challenges they face in implementing classroom activities based around on-line data. They also made recommendations as to how NOAA online data could be formatted so it is more accessible to teachers and students.
The workshop was organized and funded by COSEE Great Lakes with student staff support from Eastern Michigan University under the NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant "Sailing Elementary Teachers Towards Ocean Literacy Using Familiar Water Resources." -- Ann Marshall