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SSAI Collaborates with Hampton City Schools to Incorporate Elementary GLOBE in their 3rd Grade Classrooms

February 10, 2022 Community/Volunteer Events, Earth Science, Education and Outreach, Employee Spotlights, SSAI in the News

 Since 2019, members of the SSAI Science Education team have been working with administrators and curriculum specialists from Hampton City Schools to bring GLOBE learning opportunities to the students of Hampton, VA. Initially, the collaboration began with a GLOBE Cloud training that was provided for middle and high school teachers, followed by students making cloud observations.

 In 2020, the relationship expanded to incorporate Elementary GLOBE as a means of bringing science content to their elementary classes through the implementation of a story book. This allows for the emphasis of literacy skills along with science skills. The initial brainstorm session began with members of Hampton City Schools’ Elementary ELA and Science Curriculum development teams joining with members of SSAI’s Science Education Team to review the Elementary GLOBE Modules and determine which would best align with the 3rd grade curriculum. The two modules identified were Earth as a System and The Scoop on Soils.  The next steps were to identify the learning activities that supported the 3rd grade Earth system and soil standards and then select two activities for each story book.

As these modules became intertwined within the standards of the 3rd grade curriculum, a clear connection began to develop of how the modules within the 3rd grade curriculum set the stage for the Did You Know the Clouds Have Names? at the 4th grade level. As outlined in best practice educational research, this would bring about a scaffolded learning opportunity from one grade level to the next, allowing students to make natural connections between the process of learning and expand the personal relevance of the learning experience.

 As the pandemic progressed, efforts shifted and the in-person training for Earth as a System became a virtual learning experience with each of the learning activities being demonstrated by members of the SSAI Science Education Team. Over 65 3rd grade teachers participated in the training. They were provided with sufficient resources for them to implement the module within their curriculum in the fall of 2021. Through the implementation of the Earth as a System Module, 3rd graders had the ability to ask questions, test their ideas, and make observations while building and monitoring their own Earth System in a Bottle. In other words, they had the opportunity to participate in an authentic science experience. 

 With the effects of the pandemic still altering methods of professional development and in-class instruction, a pilot group of 3rd grade teachers will participate in an in-person training on March 3, 2022 as they prepare to implement the Scoop on Soils module. Each member of the pilot will participate in an exploration of the components of soil, considering texture, color, and particle size of the soil samples provided for them. In addition, the pilot teachers will have the opportunity to learn the proper way to collect a core sample of soil from a location outside of their school setting.

The SSAI Science Education team maintains a strong commitment to making a difference within our community. The team will continue to work to foster partnerships and collaborations with members of our local school districts as we seek to be sensitive to the extreme strain being placed on educators by the pandemic.  Using readily accessible and adaptable resources, we seek to provide continued learning opportunities that can be implemented both in-person or virtually and synchronously or asynchronously.

Together we continue to be SSAI Strong!!