Monday, 25 July 2011

Workshops in New Mexico

In June, a week of Earth science workshops was organised by Professor Mary Dowse at the Western New Mexico University. Earth Learning Ideas made up most of the activities; the following are some of the results:-
- the series of activities on the magnetic field of the Earth probably promoted the most learning among the teachers.  We did the whole group of exercises related to the magnetic field together and it gave them a far better understanding than they had before.  The questions they asked became more sophisticated as we went through the activities indicating a more sophisticated understanding on their part.
- the activity they liked best was Volcano in the lab.  Lots of learning and insight resulted from that activity.  The teachers had fun dismantling the model and looking at the 'intrusions'.
- they were frustrated trying to build some of the plate tectonic models; they felt the pictures were good, but could not sometimes see how to get from the picture to a working model. Their suggestion was more detailed instructions for building the models. The instructor thought that their difficulties partly reflected their lack of understanding of the processes they were trying to model.
All these activities can be found on the ELI website by using the search facility.

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