Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Heath Martin's Internship, Fall 2013 - Part 4

For the fall 2013 semester, I completed an internship under guidance of University of Miami professor Dr. Villy Kourafalou. The intent of the internship was to develop a set of lesson plans that would bring biogeochemical factors and research to the classroom in a language that students and laypersons can understand. This poses a huge challenge, as there is a fair amount of information that is available but is often complicated by language specific to modeling programs and other equipment used to measure the various factors that drive Earth's processes.

Using various search criteria specific to the Gulf of Mexico, I constructed 5 mini-units that can be incorporated into existing curriculum. The units build on concepts learned in previous activities and challenge students to develop potential solutions to real world problems affecting the Gulf. Using the umbrella of "connectivity," students quickly realize how terrestrial problems often link to marine systems. In short, they see direct impact that we can have if we don't take precautions to prevent disasters from occurring.

Some recurring themes are pollution, prevention, and connection. Hands-on activities accompany the units to give students some hands-on experience with each idea. Each unit ends with a problem or task that students must complete to show the degree to which they understand and can apply the concepts learned.

I plan to pilot the lessons this spring with my 8th graders. From there, I will be able to receive their input as to what lessons need additional resources or support. I am looking forward to further developing the lessons with student input, and they will become available as they are edited and refined. Feel free to send me any comments suggestions or development ideas: Heath.martin@browardschools.com 

Posted By:
Heath Martin, University of Miami/RSMAS

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