Navigation Links
Desert to Rainforest global classroom links future teachers, classrooms in Phoenix and Panama
Date:4/16/2012

For Lauren Coffey and Whitney Clem, the opportunity to travel to Panama and spend a week learning about rainforest ecosystems was too tempting to pass up. The two student teachers in Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College were selected for a scholarship enabling them to learn about similarities and differences of biodiversity in Arizona's deserts and Panama's rainforests, and to pass this knowledge along to their students in elementary and middle school classrooms.

In earning the Mary Lou Fulton Science Exchange Scholarship, Clem and Coffey are joining eight K-8 teachers from schools in central Phoenix in a yearlong science education program, Desert to Rainforest. There are an additional 10 in-service teachers who have been selected to participate; those individuals live and teach in Panama.

The participating educators share a passion for helping children develop critical thinking skills, science know-how and cultural awareness. Desert to Rainforest will enable them to use powerful new interactive video technology to make connections among middle school students in Phoenix and Panama.

The project is a collaborative initiative of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI), ASU's School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Teachers College, as well as Audubon Arizona, in collaboration with Phoenix Public School Districts and the Ministry of Education in Panama. Support comes through a Youth Access Grant from the Smithsonian Institution.

The trip to Panama will take place in July. In late March, the Arizona educators spent a day at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center in central Phoenix. They worked with ASU scientists and Audubon Arizona staff on topics including identification of local desert flora and fauna. They also began their training with the Vidyo videoconferencing technology, using the video interface to interact and work through a lesson plan being developed as part of the project.

"The video component will enable us to build connections between students in Panama and here in Phoenix," said Coffey, who currently is student-teaching at Valley View School in the Roosevelt School District, as she completes her degree in elementary education with a Diversity in Language and Learning (DLL) endorsement. "I think this is a great addition to the project because it enables middle school students to learn not only about biodiversity but cultural diversity as well."

Coffey already has demonstrated a commitment to expanding her knowledge of different cultures. Two years ago she spent a semester studying in Seville, Spain, learning Spanish and studying Spanish history and culture.

Clem, meanwhile, is student-teaching at Edison Elementary School in the Phoenix Elementary School District. She will earn Teachers College's dual degree that leads to certification in special education and elementary education.

"The first workshop in Phoenix was very productive," Clem said. "I believe this project, including the upcoming trip to Panama, will help me grow immensely as I begin my teaching career. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to learn from expert science teachers here in Arizona, as well as visiting a classroom in Panama."

"Desert to Rainforest emphasizes the development of core curricula that celebrates life in these two rich ecosystems," said David Pearson, a research professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences, who developed the grant with Mari Koerner, dean of Teachers College, W. Owen MacMillan, STRI dean of academic programs, and STRI coordinator Nelida Gomez.

"The students living in each of these distinctively different environments will use their personal experiences to understand differences and similarities in the habitats in which they live, and they will bring new knowledge home to share with their families," Pearson said. "The electronically enhanced communication between students in Panama and Phoenix will be led by teachers who have been trained in critical thinking with an intellectual emphasis on sustainable use of biodiversity and the political and economic importance of cultural diversity."

"When I become a teacher, I want my students to be exposed to what life is like outside the desert, and teach them to appreciate the unique qualities of the world around them," Coffey said. "Through Desert to Rainforest, I will gain the knowledge I need to become an advocate for environmental awareness and education."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Crum
MATTHEW.CRUM@asu.edu
602-543-5209
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Microbial oasis discovered beneath the Atacama Desert
2. Seaweed hotspots, illegal logging, and discovering new species under the desert
3. Finger (mal)formation reveals surprise function of desert DNA
4. Natural anti-oxidant deserts aging body
5. Fossils of forest rodents found in highland desert
6. Study finds some desert birds less affected by wildfires and climate change
7. Mapping food deserts
8. Cadillac Desert withstands the test of time and technology
9. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev hosts UNESCO conference on drylands, deserts and desertification
10. Family ties bind desert lizards in social groups
11. Ancient microbes responsible for breathing life into ocean deserts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Desert to Rainforest global classroom links future teachers, classrooms in Phoenix and Panama
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: