Introducing Research Concepts to Middle School Students via a Geospatial Science Gateway
TimeWednesday, July 254:45pm - 5pm
DescriptionThis paper describes a geospatial experience for middle school students using tools developed for the Geospatial Analysis Building Blocks (GABBs) project. At the Turned Onto Technology & Leadership (TOTAL) camps at Purdue University during 2016 and 2017, thirty to thirty-six 8th and 9th graders from diverse backgrounds and around the United States used MultiSpec Online to determine the area of a flood which occurred in 2008 in southern Illinois and Indiana using Landsat 5 multispectral satellite data. The students also got hands-on experience using GeoBuilder to find locations within Indiana with the highest reported rain events. The students received brief introductions to remote sensing and the tools during an hour-long session on one day, followed by a 75-minute active learning session on the next day to work through the exercises. At the end of the session for the second year, the students completed a four question evaluation form to provide structured feedback from the sessions. It was clear that the students got a lot more from the active learning session than the introduction (presentation) session.
We intend to share our experience and lessons learned from teaching middle school students about complex concepts such as geospatial data analysis and visualization in an active learning environment with the community. The teaching materials used are open source and could be adapted by other groups for their audiences.