Reaching Out beyond the Ivory Towers
Banner, Jay , Musgrove, MaryLynn , James, E. W. , Guda, N. .
“Hot Science - Cool Talks”: A Public Lecture Series Connecting Science Teachers and the University of Texas.
A successful ongoing outreach program produced by the Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas at Austin is focused on Earth, environmental and natural science lectures. Six lectures per year are given by UT-Austin faculty members and visiting scientists on Friday evenings. The lectures are open and advertised to the public although the series specifically targets K-12 science teachers. To maximize the transfer of scientific information to their classrooms, we produce a CD-ROM for each lecture that includes the lecture materials, detailed notes, web links, correlations to state teaching standards and numerous additional resources including teaching aids. Teachers receive a CD-ROM for the lecture(s) that they attend. In addition to the formal lectures, there are exhibits and receptions before each lecture, allowing for one-on-one interactions between faculty, researchers, the lecturers, graduate students, K-12 teachers and students, community organizations, and the public. We have also implemented webcasting of the lectures, via streaming video and audio, allowing viewers anywhere to view the lecture and send in questions in real time. The webcast is then archived and available to anyone with an internet connection. In coordination with the Environmental Science Institute’s NSF-sponsored GK-12 program, day-long field and classroom workshops follow up in depth on some lecture topics. The response to the lectures to date has been excellent, with large audiences, over 1000 subscribers to our monthly electronic newsletter, and the offering of professional development credit by area school districts. We have expanded the original lecture series focus, which was on geological sciences, by including other departments at UT-Austin that are associated with the environmental and natural sciences, and by introducing new interactive venues for scientists and teachers. The Web format and archived webcasts allow us to track which lectures and topics are downloaded or accessed most frequently, and to continue to make relevant improvements to the lecture format. The outcomes of the lecture series for K-12 education includes 1) increased engagement of K-12 teachers and students in science; 2) enhanced content for K-12 science teachers; 3) increased interaction between university researchers and the K-12 community and the general public; and 4) dissemination of cutting edge science long before it will appear in K-12 textbooks or be available to the public. More information about the lecture series and other outreach activities of the UT Environmental Science Institute can be found at http://www.esi.utexas.edu/.
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Environmental Science Institute (ESI) – University of Texas at Austin
ESI Outreach Lecture Series
ESI K-12 Teachers Page
1 - University of Texas at Austin, Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Science Institute, Austin, Texas, 78712
Presentation Type: Education Forum Session:Informational Session
Session: F 5d-1
Date: Saturday, August 13th, 2005
Time: 2:45 PM