The Mississippi State University Geosciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering programs are collaborating to provide learning experiences for both K-12 teachers and students in geology, meteorology and hydrology under the common theme of natural hazards. The Hazards TEAMS project has 4 goals: 1) to increase K-12 teachers' Earth Science content knowledge, 2) to increase students' knowledge of geoscience careers and the path needed to obtain them, 3) to increase student interest in geosciences through engaging lessons in the classroom and fun hands-on activities at Mississippi State University (MSU), and 4) to better enable guidance counselors to direct students into geoscience majors and career paths. The project team is providing a hazards-related workshop for 8-10 "Partner Teachers" from high-minority Mississippi school districts, as well as the Mississippi Migrant Student Education Center. During the following year, these partner teachers lead a similar workshop for a second group of teachers. Middle and junior high school students are gaining knowledge about the geosciences through activity days and a summer camp on the MSU campus as well as through materials and lessons the teachers are able to bring into the classroom. The activity days and summer camp are increasing student interest in the geosciences as well as exposing middle or junior high school students to a college campus and laboratories. They are also exposing younger students to individuals currently enrolled in majors leading to careers in the geosciences who may serve as role models. The focus on increasing students' knowledge of careers and college majors available in the geosciences is also addressed through designed brochures that are mailed to guidance counselors throughout the state. Prior to the creation of the brochure, guidance counselors are surveyed to determine their awareness of the careers and education pathways available in the geosciences, as well the coursework and activities students can take advantage of to increase their chance of success in entering and completing a geoscience major.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Program Officer
Jill L. Karsten
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Mississippi State University
Mississippi State
United States
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