The primary focus of the project will be to develop learning teams comprised of middle school students, teachers, graduate student fellows and Ball State University faculty. The partnership works together on inquiry-based environmental studies at the local, regional and global levels. The common experience for all participants is The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. GLOBE integrates science, mathematics and technology into its educational format. The learning teams devise a system wide student inquiry project to investigate an environmental issue of local significance. Schools collect local environmental data using established scientific protocols and, through the technology of the GLOBE web site, communicate with students from other regions and countries. These activities are integrated with and support the Indianapolis Public School's science curriculum frameworks. The core experiences emphasized by the project include: (1) content in life, physical and earth/space science, (2) the inquiry process, (3) data gathering and analysis, and (4) graphing and interpretation of scientific data. PIE teaches students to trust the observations they make and conclusions they draw. The broader impact of the project include its focus on bringing environmental educational experiences to an urban student population and the opportunity it provides for middle school students to become scientists in their own backyard. This project is partially supported with funds from the Directorate for Biological Sciences.
Title: GK-12 Partners Investigating our Environment (PIE) Institution: Ball State University PI: Kemuel Badger, Walter Smith Partner School District: Indianapolis Public Funding: $1,257,156 total for 3 years Graduate Fellows per year: 10 Setting: Urban Target Audience: grades 6-8 NSF Supported Disciplines: Biology, Geology, Natural Resources, Chemistry, and Physics