Using Polar Sciences in Adult Basic Education Programs
Submitted by Susan K. Cowles on April 6, 2014 - 2:15pm
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Welcome to the discussion, “Using Polar Sciences in Adult Basic Education Programs”.
Our general level of science literacy is a concern. What do we know about the physical world we live in? What do we know about the ways in which scientists do their work? How can we use the results of scientific research to meet current and future challenges to our societies? What resources exist to help us educate ourselves about these topics?
Big questions! Where do we start? Well, for the next two weeks we’re going to look at the Earth’s “higher latitudes”: the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica. Our guests, Lynn Reed, Lisa Eisner, and Sam Laney have worked in these regions and they are certainly qualified to participate in our discussions. We all look forward to postings from you, the LINCS Science Community and others, as we consider many topics.
Those of us who are instructors in adult basic education programs work with many adults who are studying to pass high school equivalency exams. One test section covers science, and test-takers are expected to answer questions about Earth’s systems, ecological networks, the effect of the environment on living things, how humans/other organisms affect the environment, and the ways scientists do their work. Students also take exams in mathematics, language arts, and social studies. Over the years, topics and resources in polar science have been used successfully to integrate these topics/skills related to high school equivalency examinations.
Our guests and I are optimistic that this polar science discussion/activity will be useful. Here are some things we will do:
- Describe current research programs in the polar regions and discover the reasons for “doing science” there
- Discuss what is necessary in order to do scientific research
- Identify the range of jobs in polar science research
- Compare and contrast the Arctic and Antarctica
- Discuss climate and weather
- Identify educational resources related to polar science and evaluate their use in adult basic education programs
So, let’s get started! Stay tuned for follow-up postings and introductions. Look for the second week's discussion of "Ice Sheets, Ice Cores, and Sea Ice" on the LINCS Science group, at https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/ice-sheets-ice-cores-and-sea-ice
This two-week activity has been concluded. Thanks to our guests, Lynn Reed, Lisa Eisner, Sam Laney, and Krista Longnecker. Thanks also to everyone who asked such interesting questions, and especially to those who sent us questions from students in adult education programs.
Please continue to read the two discussion threads, and please make comments as you use the resources with learners. Feedback is important! In addition to these discussion threads, we will post a concise list of the resources that have been recommended by our guests.