ReaL* Earth Inquiry Workshop (South Central US)

Information for Participants


This page provides information for participants in our Teacher Friendly Professional Development Program on teaching local and regional Earth system science of the South Central United States. 

For information on workshop logistics (location, lodging, stipend/reimbursement and what to bring), click here

Things to Do Before the Workshop:

There are three key pieces of homework to be done before the workshop.  The first two should be done in advance of the workshop, by noon on July 27, 2009:

  1. 1.Create a “Powers of Ten” Google Earth Tour for your school or institution. For an introduction, see Your Own Powers of Ten Or, go straight to the tutorials:  If you’re comfortable with technology, this will probably take about two hours.  If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact Don at [email protected].  The two key purposes of this task are to create a useful teaching resource and to provide some familiarity with a key piece of software we’ll be using in our work together. 

  2. 2.Complete a pre-assessment to help us tailor the program to your needs. The assessment is in three parts:

  3. BulletPart 1: Improving Science Teaching and Learning.  This section has 19 questions.

  4. BulletPart 2: Assessment: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and CurriculumThis section has 18 questions.

  5. BulletPart 3: TechnologyThis section has 21 questions.

  6. Most questions ask you to rate both the importance of a statement and the evidence you have to support it.  Once you begin a section, please complete it before closing the browser window.  Completing all three parts will take a total of about a half an hour.

The third task is a reading that should be complete before the workshop begins on the morning of July 29h.

  1. 3.Read the executive summary of How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the ClassroomWe’ll discuss this the first morning of the workshop.  Here are some things to consider as you read:

•How does how you learn compare to what the authors claim?

•How should research on learning inform how we teach?

•Note that the reading is not about whether people are visual or auditory learners. It’s more about how you put information together in your head.  How do you figure things out?

  1. If possible, write a response to the reading and email it to us, but give the tasks above and the reading itself first priority.  If you email it to us by July 27, we will provide some feedback on what you have written (and we will know you a little better from the start of the workshop).  Our address is [email protected]

  2. This task is intended to both bring this research to your attention and to bring the research to bear on our own teaching.  As the reading describes, we are asking you to be metacognitive. We are emailing you the chapter and it can be downloaded from the National Academy Press website:   Scroll down to the link for the free executive summary.

Go to pre-assessment:  Part 1    Part 2    Part 3

You may also wish to explore the project websites before the workshop:


Getting ready for the workshop...

Getting Ready:

  1. Getting Ready Overview

  2. Logistics

  3. Make Your Own Powers of Ten.

  4. Pre-assessment Part 1: Improving Science Teaching and Learning

  5. Pre-assessment Part 2: Assessment -- Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum

  6. Pre-assessment Part 3: Technology

  7. Reading: How Students Learn Executive Summary.  (pdf)

This information is also available for download: ReaL Earth Inquiry Workshop: Information Packet &

Tentative Agenda (revised 7/15/09)