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1997 TEA / NSTA Convention Notes
1997 TEA / NSTA Convention Notes
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm - 4 April 1997

Mr. Peter Amati, TEA 92/93, Holliston High School, Massachusetts
Ms. Carole Bennett, TEA 96/97, Gaither High School, Florida
Ms. Kristen Bjork, GLACIER Project Director, Curriculum Designer, Education Development Center, Massachusetts
Ms. Margaret Brumsted, TEA 96/97, Chelsea High School, Massachusetts
Ms. Besse Dawson, TEA 97/98, Pearland High School, Texas
Dr. Jane Dionne, Environmental Sciences Program Officer, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation
Mr. Mike Hardy, TEA/GLACIER Computer Programmer, Rice University
Mr. Paul Jones, TEA 97/98
Ms. Sandra Kolb, "TEA" 96/97, Fairview Junior High, Washington
Dr. Randy Landsberg, Education Coordinator, Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica, University of Chicago,
Ms. Demetria Newsome, TEA 93/94, Dunbar High School, Maryland
Mr. George Palo, TEA 95/96, Gig Harbor High School, Washington
Ms. Marge Porter, TEA 93/94, Woodstock Academy
Ms. Barbara Schulz, TEA 96/97, Lakeside School, Washington
Ms. Stephanie Shipp, GLACIER Project Director, Rice University
Mr. Steve Stevenoski, TEA 95/96, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin
Dr. Wayne Sukow, TEA Program Officer, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation
Ms. Linda Wygoda, TEA 96/97, Sam Houston High School, Louisiana


Background of Program (J. Dionne)

Topics of discussion for this meeting (W. Sukow):
  • Wayne requested an electronic communication from each TEA parcticipant of what it means to integrate education and research.

  • How can the TEA program be improved? TEA is, by definition, limited to a few parcticipants each year; it will never be a systemic program. What is the impact on the local district (and beyond) outside of the classroom?

  • What impact has the TEA experience made on your teaching? What is the impact on students? Does the experience lead to more science in the classroom? Better science?

  • Open Discussion
    Topic (2) How can the TEA program be improved? TEA is, by definition, limited to a few parcticipants each year; it will never be a systemic program. What is the impact on the local district (and beyond) outside of the classroom?

    On the Relationship Between the TEA Parcticipant and the Researcher
    a) Have protocols for the TEA parcticipant and for the PI

    b) Remind the PI:
  • that the parcticipant is a part of the research team (graduate student / research assistant analogy).
  • of the expectations of the TEA by EHR (e.g., daily journal, answering questions from the classroom, activities development).
  • that this is a professional development opportunity for the TEA parcticipant and should be taken seriously.
  • that there is a per-diem for the summer experience to be allotted to the TEA.
  • that the TEA may be anxious about leaving home for an extended period of time.
  • that the TEA may request samples from the field for classroom use. Request assistance with the arrangements for collecting and transporting the samples.

  • There is a fine balance between too much and too little responsibility for the TEA. On the negative end, some PI's make the TEA feel that they are in the way. More positive are the PI's who treat the teacher as a professional, who understand the limitations of the TEA, and who thank the teacher afterward for their assistance. The ideal relationship is one in which the PI does not place the teacher in a vulnerable position (doomed to failure?). The TEA is part of the science team but is not a scientist.

    (J. Dionne will e-mail the OPP letter to the PI for comments by the group.)

    c) Match the TEA with a researcher that is investigating what the TEA teachers (e.g., match a TEA teaching astronomy with an astronomer). Perhaps arrange an interview with the PI and the TEA to make sure that they are well matched.

    d) Verify that the PI does wish to work with a teacher and that this relationship will require a time investment (background, training, perhaps development of arcticles and activities).

    e) Define actual projects for which the TEA will be responsible. (W. Sukow indicated that this now is requested of the PI by OPP).

    f) Have the TEA parcticipant visit the researcher for one week before and for one week after the research expedition.

    g) Thus far, the information transfer has been unidirectional; invite the PI to the classroom for one week (educate the researcher).

    h) The TEA parcticipant is responsible for developing activities for the classroom; invite the PI to assist in the developmental process and to review the activities for correct content.

    On TEA Requirements
    a) Provide time specified-requirements for the TEA.

    b) Provide a check-list of "to-do's" for the TEA parcticipant. (W. Sukow expressed that he believes in a minimalist approach to rules; S. Shipp will send a list of suggestions to W. Sukow).

    c) Journals - TEA parcticipants should post the journals on the website and provide W. Sukow with a hardcopy.

    d) Query future TEA parcticipants on their intentions of staying in the teaching field. Active TEA teachers should consider themselves TEA representatives and should encourage non-active TEA parcticipants to become more involved.

    e) TEA parcticipants returning from the field should parcticipate in the upcoming presentations (e.g., NSTA), but should have the year to create activities.

    f) TEA parcticipants must demonstrate that they actively are incorporating the TEA experience into the classroom and the local school district. Failure to demonstrate that your are a working partner in TEA will negate inclusion in TEA meetings, orientation workshops, etc.

    TEA Mentors
    W. Sukow will match 97/98 TEA parcticipants with TEA mentors during April.

    On Upcoming TEA Meetings
    a) Proposed dates for the "new" TEA parcticipants orientation: Thursday 26 June (early arrival) to Sunday 29 June (late departure). (W. Sukow will verify the dates).

    b) TEA parcticipants should present at NSTA in Las Vegas in 1998.
  • A half day panel session will be requested at which TEA parcticipants will present their experiences.
  • W. Sukow will moderate.
  • PI's will be invited to attend.
  • Abstracts for talks will be submitted to B. Schulz, L. Wygoda, and C. Bennett. W. Sukow will assist selection of presenters.
  • (B. Schulz will organize the panel session through NSTA in the near future).

  • c) A five day workshop for activity development was proposed for the summer. (G. Palo will organize a workshop proposal to be submitted to W. Sukow).

    On School Districts:
    a) The district may give approval without recognizing the depth of the commitment; when parcticipation in the program is awarded, the district may attempt to withdraw it's support.

    b) The TEA should provide W. Sukow with the school administrator's address. W. Sukow will send a letter explaining the significance of the TEA experience. (W. Sukow can help negotiate with the school district and administration).

    c) The TEA should share information about the upcoming event with the school district ("talk it up").

    d) Use C. Bennett's or other TEA's media coverage to illustrate the benefits to the school and the district.

    e) Prepare a polished color brochure explaining the TEA program; provide this to the school, district, and local media.

    On Media Opportunities
    a) The TEA and/or the school administration should contact the local media and provide them with information about the TEA program and parcticipation of a local teacher.

    b) Have NSF release a press brief with the names and schools of the parcticipating teachers. (J. Dionne and W. Sukow indicated that this will require time, but should pose no difficulty).

    c) Have the TEA parcticipants provide local media contact information to Lynn Simarski at OPP. L. Simarski will funnel information to the media about the TEA program.

    d) TEA parcticipants should send clippings of media coverage to W. Sukow, J. Dionne, and S. Shipp. These will be kept in a TEA archive.

    Miscellaneous Suggestions
    a) Acquire a set of cold weather gear for each new TEA parcticipant to use in demonstrations following the research expedition. (J. Dionne indicated that this would be very difficult to do; "recycled" Antarctic clothing is beyond recognition).

    b) Provide OPP field manuals, information brochures, etc. to the TEA teachers before they head to the field. (S. Shipp will ensure that these are provided during the Summer orientation meeting).

    Discussion of "Curriculum Development" with K. Bjork
    NSF has a parcticular definition of "curriculum development;" the TEA parcticipants should concentrate on developing activities.

    a) Determine the overarching philosophy for the activities (e.g., that they will incorporate real data from the field, that they will have application to the local environment, etc.).

    b) Determine the audience and target the activities toward that audience.

    c) Determine a process for review (review by educators and researchers).

    d) Recognize that others will modify the activities in their won classrooms.

    e) The activities must reflect excellent pedagogy and content.

    f) Perhaps use "Access Excellence," or alternative as a template.

    g) Activities can be placed on the TEA Website to permit open access. This avoids reproduction and mailing costs and time.

    h) Discussion of the philosophy:
  • Develop activities that help the 80% of students who will not be attending college. Convey the experience of Antarctica and get the students thinking. Relate the experiences to stewardship activities.
  • Identify the content area to help the teacher determine where/if they wish to incorporate the activity into the classroom. Potential difficulty is that this may limit activities that cross boundaries of disciplines.
  • Have learning objectives.
  • Create activities that will be simple to undertake in the classroom and inexpensive.
  • Make inquiry based.

  • Topic (3)
    What impact has the TEA experience made on your teaching? What is the impact on students? Does the experience lead to more science in the classroom? Better science?

    Audience impact varies depending on the background of the audience. Presentations to the general public require significant background about Antarctica.

    There is a huge interest in Antarctica. Discussions typically start with the physical conditions and what it is like to work there. Eventually science is woven into the discussion.

    M. Porter emphasizes the discipline she teaches, environmental science, in her presentations. She interweaves her experience into her environmental studies class.

    B. Schulz links her Antarctic experiences to the home environment. She maintained a connection to the classroom while in the field and demonstrated that the students were doing what the researchers were doing. This underscores to students what scientists do.

    96/97 TEA parcticipants will use their experiences in the classroom next year to set a context for science experienced in the classroom.

    S. Stevenoski uses the TEA journals o provide context in his science classrooms. They illustrate how science is done; that science is applicable.

    S. Kolb is not a science teacher but has become interested in science because of her experience at the Pole. Her enthusiasm has led the staff at her school to become more interested in science; you don't have to be a scientist to be interested.

    The students will be the best able to determine the impact in the classroom.

    Parcticipation in the TEA program results in a marked increase in respect from students, teachers, and parents.

    The TEA parcticipants are role models, to students, to teachers, to researchers, to the community.

    The TEA experience serves as a model for professional development. It illustrates to other teachers that the teaching experience can be diverse and exciting. You are not "stuck" in the classroom; you can actively seek experiences to enhance your classroom. Education is a continuous process.

    The TEA experience models achieving success in pursuing goals and overcoming challenges to students and to other teachers.

    The TEA experience offers the opportunity to impact science and education, and to forge a connection between the fields. TEA gets teachers involved in science. It involves researchers in education.

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