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EARTH Workshops use near-real-time data from ocean observatories to develop engaging outreach materials for scientists, educators, students, and the public.
Recognizing the need to educate the public about the value of research and help them understand scientific methodology, this MBARI/Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) collaboration allows us to test new ideas for public outreach and education. One of MBARI’s joint projects with MBA, Education and Research: Testing Hypotheses (EARTH) lays new groundwork, providing teachers with a means for integrating real-time data with existing educational standards and tested curriculum in an interactive and engaging way.
EARTH uses near-real-time data from ocean observatories to design and test outreach with the Internet as an interface to scientists, teachers, students, and the public. Several workshops were held at MBARI in 2002-2005 bringing educators, scientists, and engineers together to develop effective educational practices for access and use of near-real-time data in preparation for the future deployment of benthic observatories (in particular, the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS). Since 2006 MBARI has partnered with a variety of organizations across the country to host the EARTH workshop.
Participants include educators from other research institutions, universities, community colleges, and high schools as well as MBARI and MBA staff. Initial efforts of EARTH target high school and undergraduate students, with the ultimate goal of reaching kindergarten through college. This effort will enhance online education material on the ocean and resources for teachers already available on MBARI’s website and the Aquarium’s ‘E-quarium’ Web site and ‘Learning Center’.
EARTH Lesson Plans are designed by educators, for educators. Each lesson plan was created as part of an EARTH workshop where educators worked directly with scientists to understand and integrate their data sets into the lessons, or to provide a background activity that will help students learn foundational concepts. We have decided not to include grade-level or time-frame information on our lesson plans so that educators can feel free to use the lesson materials in any way that works with their curriculum. Educators are continually testing the lessons and we try to update them according to suggestions and new information. We invite anyone who completes a lesson to submit our online feedback rubric. Please be aware that some of these activities have NOT been tested in the classroom yet and some of them are still under development.
The 2023 workshop will be held July 10-14, 2023 in Honolulu, HI, co-hosted by the USGS Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC), a collaborative partnership between the US Geological Survey and a university consortium hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, with the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the University of Guam, designed to support sustainability and climate adaptation in communities across the Pacific Islands. Applications for the 2023 EARTH workshop are now being accepted. One requirement is to trial an existing EARTH lesson plan prior to the workshop. We strive to maximize engagement between workshop participants and the scientists who participate, and ensure that educators are able to work together in a variety of ways throughout the workshop. Because of this, we only have a limited number of spots available in each EARTH workshop and applications are required.