1. Alan Berkowitz
  2. http://www.caryinstitute.org/science-program/our-scientists/dr-alan-r-berkowitz
  3. Head of Education
  4. Integrating Chemistry and Earth science
  5. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  1. Vonceil Anderson
  2. Chemistry Curriculum Writer
  3. Integrating Chemistry and Earth science
  4. Baltimore City Public Schools
  1. Bess Caplan
  2. Ecology Education Program Leader
  3. Integrating Chemistry and Earth science
  4. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  1. Kevin Garner
  2. STEM Science Coordinator
  3. Integrating Chemistry and Earth science
  4. Baltimore City Public Schools
  1. Jonathon Grooms
  2. https://gsehd.gwu.edu/directory/jonathon-grooms
  3. Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy
  4. Integrating Chemistry and Earth science
  5. George Washington University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Bess Caplan

    Bess Caplan

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 04:58 p.m.

    Welcome to the Integrating Chemistry and Earth science (ICE) project.  We are developing an innovative Earth-chemistry curriculum for the high school chemistry course in Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). This video features highlights from some of our Earth-chemistry lessons and includes teachers and students from several Baltimore City high schools plus interviews with some of our key project staff.

    We are interested in your thoughts, especially if you are working on a similar project that integrates NGSS aligned high school Earth and space science content into a high school chemistry, biology or physics course.  

    How are your school districts incorporating Earth/space science into curriculum?

    How does your district prepare teachers to teach subject matter in which they may not have trained?

    Is your district developing classroom-based 3D assessments?  What approaches are you using?

    If you want to know more about ICE, email our Project's PI at berkowitza@caryinstitute.org.  Thanks for watching!

  • Icon for: Alan Berkowitz

    Alan Berkowitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 06:27 p.m.

    I would like to add my welcome to the ICE project! In addition to the questions Bess raises, we'd also be interested in hearing your ideas and experiences teaching about Earth and Environmental Science phenomena in an urban context. 

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  • Small default profile

    Rachel Talbert

    Graduate Student
    May 13, 2019 | 09:23 a.m.

     Video provided a great look at the project and how teachers and students are participating in the study. Did the students look exclusively at the impacts of urban living on Environmental Science or did they consider the other factors outside of the city (farming, suburban sprawl) that impact the environment? Enjoyed the video and learning about your work.

  • Icon for: Bess Caplan

    Bess Caplan

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:14 a.m.

    Thanks for the comment and question, Rachel. While many of our lessons emphasize very local phenomena, students do learn about global scale phenomena as well. Everything from plate tectonics to the weathering of mountains and deposition of those materials to the weathering of urban surfaces and impacts on local waterways. Our thermal energy unit addresses Urban Heat Island. Students learn about the differences in heat transfer at different scales - urban, regional and global.  

  • Icon for: David Campbell

    David Campbell

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 11:45 a.m.

    Do you discuss the "fall line" in your curriculum?  It might provide an avenue of dissemination to other urban cities on the fall line, like DC, Philadelphia, New York, etc.

  • Icon for: Bess Caplan

    Bess Caplan

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:36 p.m.

    The "fall line is not widely addressed in the curriculum however that geologic phenomena does come into play as students learn about the deposition of materials that were weathered from mountains further west of the coastal plain.

  • Icon for: Alan Berkowitz

    Alan Berkowitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 07:22 a.m.

    Thanks for the question, David. Weaving the Fall Line more completely into the curriculum unit on the Life and Death of Baltimore's Mountains is one of the enhancements we're hoping to make in the next round of revisions. We've produced a visually attractive geological map of the metropolitan region printed on fabric for use in a lesson about the chemistry of the rocks in Baltimore, and the Fall Line cuts across the map and demarcates the transition of rock types. So it's already in the curriculum, but we haven't figured out how to extend their 'vision' to the whole East coast with its pattern of highways and cities along the Fall Line. Stay tuned!

  • May 13, 2019 | 01:19 p.m.

    Great video!

    Is the ICE curriculum incorporated throughout the entire year of chemistry or does it complement a few key concepts?

  • Icon for: Bess Caplan

    Bess Caplan

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 02:08 p.m.

    Most of the Earth-chemistry integration occurs in the last two units of the chemistry curriculum;  Thermochemistry in unit 6 and the Life and Death of Baltimore's Mountains in unit 7.  The rest of the chemistry curriculum has what we are calling "icicles," single lessons or parts of lessons that have Earth-chemistry crossover.  These are found throughout the first five units and more prominently in unit 4 (Chemical Reactions) where students learn about ocean acidification and the impact on oysters.  Units 1 and 2 integrate space science (life cycle of stars, fission and fusion and nucleosynthesis).

  • Icon for: Liz Díaz-Vázquez

    Liz Díaz-Vázquez

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 03:13 p.m.

    Excellent initiative! In our project CIRE2N, we are developing curricular materials to integrate Environmental Science and Nanotechnology. We are working with science graduate students to transform their research in academic practice /activities

    What recommendation do you have to effectively train teachers and promote their interest in including new initiatives in their courses?

     

     

     

  • Icon for: Bess Caplan

    Bess Caplan

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:02 p.m.

    Teacher training is a focus of our program.  We have worked intensively with 5-8 teachers over two years, meeting monthly to provide PD and get their feedback and input on lesson development.  We are now working to develop additional supports for other chemistry teachers in the district.  These supports will include instructional videos, annotated powerpoints, access to readings, and targeted sessions during systemic PD days.  We are also providing two weeks of PD this summer for chemistry teachers which will focus entirely on the chemistry units where Earth integration is most prevalent.  It's not easy asking chemistry teachers to teach Earth science content, but with a lot of support from the project (including putting project staff in classrooms, purchasing supplies, and keeping the lines of communication open) we are seeing teachers more at ease with the new content area.

  • Icon for: Mary Murphy

    Mary Murphy

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 05:01 p.m.

    I really appreciate this approach. I am a classroom teacher, transitioning to NGSS and this seems to be very learner centered and working with complex ideas that by their nature are interdisciplinary.  It seems that some of the printed materials and some of the examples seem Baltimore specific.  If you scale up to more regions will these be materials and examples that are easily available or accessible for other cities?  I am also interested in knowing how transferable the program would be to a rural setting.  

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Aliza Zivic
  • Icon for: Alan Berkowitz

    Alan Berkowitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 07:42 a.m.

    What great questions! We have focused on urban phenomena in large part because we want the students to see that Earth science and chemistry can help them understand and make decisions about their local environment. Of the phenomena we focus on - acidification of the Chesapeake Bay (with impacts on the iconic oyster) and mountain formation/weathering would be applicable to many places beyond Baltimore, though our weathering lessons emphasize the role of the chemistry of building materials in the weathering process, so still an urban focus. The heat island phenomenon is distinctively urban, though we suspect that the same driving forces at play in making cities warmer than surrounding areas would apply at the level of just a school and its yard, though not as likely to be easily measured. We hope that the overall approach to integrating Earth science and chemistry, and blending science practices (designing investigations, data sense making, modeling) and cross-cutting themes will be applicable to teaching about similar phenomena in many different settings.

     
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    Aliza Zivic
  • Icon for: Aliza Zivic

    Aliza Zivic

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2019 | 01:43 p.m.

    I think you chose some really powerful localized phenomena and I love that you have thought through how they can (and cannot) be used in other cities! I have also been doing a lot of thinking about integrating earth science with chemistry and one thing I have struggled with is reasoning at the appropriate scale. So much of chemical reasoning occurs and an atomic and sub-atomic level and earth science phenomena are so complex - how do you motivate students to want to think about particle-level interactions in your units? I find this especially challenging when students do not have a lot of prior knowledge and intuitions to build on and so there is just so much unpacking before you can get to something like pH! First we have to do sense making around dissolution and ions!

    Related to this, I then struggle with the fact that in order to master both chemistry and earth science PEs in one unit - the class often has to spend an extended time on one phenomena. This can sometimes lead to burnout on the students part! Do you ever struggle with this for your longer units?

     

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Trey Smith
  • Icon for: Alan Berkowitz

    Alan Berkowitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:23 p.m.

    I really appreciate your questions and thinking! We've taken our best first shot at identifying phenomena that are engaging, accessible and amenable to exploration at both the atomic and macro scales. So, for example, for the unit on Chemistry and the Life and Death of Baltimore's Mountains, students apply what they've already learned about acid-base reactions and new concepts connecting chemistry to physical hardness to weathering processes that manifest in 1) the slow but noticeable weathering of Baltimore's iconic marble stoops on the row houses, 2) the slower weathering of marble vs. granite stones in a simulated stream, and 3) the regional pattern of valleys where marble occurs and ridges where granite occurs. Our research, which is collecting student work, classroom observations, and student interviews, will allow us to answer your (and our, for that matter) questions better once the results are in (the ESS-infused units are being taught RIGHT NOW!). 

    I shared your question with our ICE team and here's a response from Kevin Garner, the Coordinator of STEM Science for the Baltimore City School System:

    There are a lot of questions and think abouts. My first thought is choosing a phenomenon that is interesting, relevant, and big enough to cover a lot of content.  For example, our unit for on ocean acidification. We build on topics to answer the question(s).  pH, acid/base, chemical reactions/balancing equations, and the effects.  We have adequate activities for students, show how Chemistry is not a stand alone course, and how the current trends do play a role in their life in Baltimore. Same can be said with the last two units.

    As far as mastering the standards, that is why we chose to weave ESS standards in the 3-course sequence.

     

     

  • Icon for: Jacob Grohs

    Jacob Grohs

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 05:47 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing! In your video, I saw students walking around and collecting data and I like how this was a part of them learning about their immediate surroundings because it really brings direct relevancy to the content.  Did this prompt any sort of "aha moments" for folks?  What conditions best enable this sort of learning?

    Also, in a comment above about supporting teachers, you talk about keeping the communication lines open.  I imagine that is harder than it seems because of the different needs and interests of any participating teacher and also the different demands and day-to-day roles of all the partners... can you speak more to balancing all of this?  What seem to be some best practices that may have emerged about this collaboration?

  • Icon for: Jonathon Grooms

    Jonathon Grooms

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 11:19 a.m.

    These are really great questions and I appreciate you pushing our thinking in these areas. One of our goals of using local phenomena is the relevancy piece, as you mentioned, we want students to see the connections between the science they are learning and their local surroundings. Our teachers have shared that the students do indeed build from these experiences to ask questions about the local phenomena and show increased engagement with the chemistry and Earth Science ideas. Giving students the time and space to think about local issues is important so they can connect different aspects of their day to day experiences. We further support this learning by having students develop models of the phenomena that are engaging with, like urban heat islands, pothole formation, chemical and mechanical weathering, etc. These modeling activities help students connect the experiential and hands on aspects of lessons with the specific science content learning goals.

    During our monthly meetings we work directly with our partner teachers and elicit their feedback regarding the curriculum and how it is working in their classrooms. They also communicate their needs regarding lesson supports - whether that's physical materials, in-class assistance, feedback on a strategy they tried, etc. In addition, project staff and district staff regularly visit teachers to check-in and provide classroom-based support and feedback. Our teachers also maintain logs related to their curriculum implementation so that project staff have a sense of teachers' progress when we aren't able to visit classrooms for a few days. These touch points are important for curriculum implementation and developing a teacher-community centered on the district-wide effort. I think it is important to have multiple modes to engage teachers during the implementation process to facilitate communication and ensure that their needs are being met in a timely and effective manner. 

  • Icon for: Roxanne Hughes

    Roxanne Hughes

    Researcher
    May 15, 2019 | 02:28 p.m.

    What a fantastic program!! I am excited to learn more about the expansion as it occurs.

    It seems like the teachers really benefit from the program. What outcomes do you focus on for the teachers and would you be willing to share your metrics? Thanks!

     
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    Jonathon Grooms
  • Icon for: Jonathon Grooms

    Jonathon Grooms

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 02:40 p.m.

    Hey Roxanne!! So far we have been documenting teachers' experiences implementing the new curriculum - successes, challenges, constraints, etc. - through reflective interviews. We are also interested in how the PD and curriculum implementation shapes their understanding of 3-dimensional instruction. We plan to collect classroom video data to help us identify the nature of their instruction as it aligns with the written curriculum and teacher interpretations and views of 3-D instruction. We have interview protocols that are fairly specific to the project, but I'm happy to share (jgrooms@gwu.edu); we don't yet have observation protocols for the video data yet - happy to hear anyone's suggestions.

  • Icon for: Mary Murphy

    Mary Murphy

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 05:36 p.m.

    I am looking forward to seeing how you bring this to schools outside the Baltimore area.  Nice work!

  • Icon for: Kevin Fleming

    Kevin Fleming

    Graduate Student
    May 17, 2019 | 04:17 p.m.

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for the comment and sharing our excitement with this project. Given our grounding in the usage of local data and phenomena, our project can be generalized to be used throughout the greater Chesapeake Bay area. However, many of our principles in designing the curriculum and developed activities are readily transferable to other regions throughout the country (or even internationally). We'd be happy to be thought partners with groups interested in taking a similar ICE approach in developing curriculum.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2019 | 04:11 p.m.

     Similarly to Mary Murphy, I would love to see how your curriculum can be adopted by schools outside of the Baltimore area. Do you think that the project could be applied to Southern California where we deal with the increased car pollution?  What activities could be adopted?

    I like to fact that you have integrated chemistry and earth sciences together.  They share a lot of common ground and our students should see that learning about one can help them in the other subject.

  • Icon for: Alan Berkowitz

    Alan Berkowitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2019 | 09:07 a.m.

    Baltimore opted to incorporate Earth science across the three other science disciplines, and Chemistry (the focus of the ICE project) was where they decided to address NGSS Performance Expectations about the inner Earth, plate tectonics and related material. Thus, it made sense for us to address phenomena such as the urban heat island in a thermochemistry unit that also addresses inner Earth heat and related processes; and the chemistry of mountain formation and destruction in a unit that also addresses plate tectonics. I could imagine similar phenomena being addressed in LA, but there are a number of PEs that ended up in the biology curriculum that you could address in chemistry that concern the chemistry of air pollution. Our approach would be to identify a focal phenomenon, develop direct investigations that students can design and carry out, and include local data they can explore to extend their understanding. I look forward to learning about what you end up doing. Good luck!

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2019 | 05:31 p.m.

    Thank you very much Alan for your suggestions.

  • Icon for: Ivetta Abramyan

    Ivetta Abramyan

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 02:48 p.m.

    Really cool concept and very important work! 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.