Natural Resources, School of


Document Type


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published in Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 51, n. 1, January, 2003, p. 114-120. Copyright © 2003. Used by permission.


The main goal of this pilot project was to improve collaboration between scientists at a large research university and K-12 educators. By involving scientists and K-12 educators in Earth systems research, we hoped to improve scientists’ awareness of current pedagogy and classroom practices, improve K-12 teachers understanding of actual scientific research and expose each group to the other’s unique culture. Eight research teams (comprising a scientist, pre-service teacher and an in-service teacher) participated in a four-week research experience, attended three half-day workshops, and participated in focus group interviews. This experience reinforced K-12 teachers views that scientific inquiry must be integrated into the curriculum. Several teachers indicated that the program provided a unique opportunity for collaboration and access to resources that they did not know were available. Scientists indicated that they learned more about their role and potential contributions for teaching science. However, in most cases, our program had limited success in achieving true long-term collaboration. To increase the number of successful collaborations, the following components should be included in the team-forming process: 1. Participant profiles; 2. Project summaries; 3. Participant Statements; and 4. Pre-project participant interviews.