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Energy and the Polar Environment

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Thursday, November 13, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program Jessica Fries-Gaither, Project Director and Elementary Resource Specialist for the Ohio Resource Center and Dr. Carol Landis, Education Coordinator at the Byrd Polar Research Center provided content and resources on the topic of energy and how they relate to the poles. Teaching strategies for integrating science and literacy were also featured.

Dr. Landis introduced concepts of albedo, energy balance, solar radiation, and how these factor into scientists creating models for studying climate change and its effects on the poles. While it is a complex system of variables, studying changes at the poles provides a way of teaching and understanding these concepts with real-world application. Ms. Fries-Gaither talked about teaching energy in elementary grades by discussing student misconceptions about the Sun’s energy and reflectivity. She also provided literacy strategies to integrate in teaching science.

Forty-one (41) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. One participant attended the program from Romania. Participants received a certificate of participation and a one-year subscription to an NSTA SciGuide for attending the program and completing the evaluation form.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "The science was very interesting and well linked to classroom practice."

  • "I am director of an elementary school with a focus on sustainability. This topic is directly aligned with our current unit on Natural Resources and energy from the sun."

  • "I learned that there are several different disciplines of science that can be applied to this topic to create a thematic unit, including chemistry, physics, geography, geology, and of course, math as well as literacy."

  • "Great web seminar! Provided content knowledge and lesson plan ideas! What a great resource for science teachers!"

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


See when other NSDL/NSTA Web Seminars are scheduled.

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