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K-12 Geoscience Education Summit

Executive Summary | Full Report

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) hosted the first Earth System Science (ESS) Education Summit in Houston, Texas, at BP Exploration’s Helios Plaza meeting facility on February 8-11, 2010. The Summit was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, as well as by funding from AGI, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Geological Society of America. Forty-two representatives of AGI member societies and key partners met to discuss and address key issues facing the K-12 geoscience education community. The issues included:

  • Perception of high school ESS as a non-rigorous, non-laboratory course;
  • Status of the preparation and continuing education of ESS teachers;
  • Inclusion of ESS alongside other sciences in the new national science education standards;
  • Lack of an ESS advanced placement course;
  • Challenges to ESS in schools by the creationist and Intelligent Design movements; and
  • Role of the International Earth Science Olympiad in raising the profile of ESS.  

Summit participants aimed to establish a formal consensus about key challenges, identify initiatives and individuals to address challenges, form teams to work on specific projects, identify possible funding sources for projects, and plan for U.S. participation in the International Earth Science Olympiad. In doing so, participants endeavored to achieve an appropriate profile for ESS education, a better prepared contingent of K-12 ESS teachers, and dissemination of updated ESS standards that are integrated with national science standards and that reflect current geoscience. Click on the link below to access the Executive Summary of the Summit as well as the Final Report. Several studies are underway as a result of the meeting. Descriptions of these and results will be posted soon.


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