1) How do you describe the objectives of the TEA program?
I felt the objectives were to bring actual science into the classroom and show students how and what can be done in the real world. Using Antarctica as a classroom peaks the interest of the students and using the internet to communicate with them brought the technology right into the classroom. I felt that allowing us to work with scientist increased my appreciation of what I teach and really allowed me to bring it home to the kids. In the real world, scientists use what we are trying to teach in exciting places and in innovative ways. The TEA objectives allowed us to reach classrooms that we would not ordinarily be in by way of the journals. We touched students and by going back in person made the trip come even more alive for the students. Trying to reach the students through an adventure with science makes it fun for them to learn and an experience that they will remember long after the classroom.
Fine, I was well prepared on what to expect.
To stimulate interest in polar environments.
The objective of the TEA program is to familiarize teachers with new and ongoing research efforts in the polar regions. Working as a member of the research team, the teacher should learn new techniques to be later "translated" into activities that any interested teachers may then use in the classroom. This, in turn, should spark interest in and knowledge about polar research programs and get the science and enthusiasm for these projects into the classroom faster than the usual 15 - 20 year wait.
In my opinion, the objectives of the TEA program are mostly clear and becoming clearer with each passing year. I personally feel that the objectives are threefold: 1) increase education about Antarctica by getting students and teachers involved in the experience through the use of the daily journals, digital pictures, and individual responses to questions, 2) bringing scientific research into the classroom, and 3) combining the two through the writing of classroom labs and activities.
I feel that the objectives of the TEA program are to invest money and resources so that a select number of teachers may have a professional experience in polar regions. They may then share that experience with as many people (other teachers, students, parents, administrators, community, etc.) as possible and thus become the vectors to disseminate information and raise the collective consciousness about a very important, fragile, and little understood environment. An indirect benefit would be that as public awareness of polar regions increases public funding of polar research may increase proportionally.
(SSS: We appear to be clarifying the objectives - professional development of teachers through research experiences; enhancement of science content [in the broadest fashion]; inviting the community to parcticipate through the TEA)
2) How do you describe the expectations of TEA parcticipants and of the school district by the National Science Foundation?
I felt that NSF did not really require a great deal from us. I liked doing the journal and trying to come up with things in science that my students and those reading could do along with me to explain my PI's work. The journal becomes a part of the great memories of the trip and brought Antarctica into the classrooms and some homes for students. I don't believe that NSF put any requirements on my school district. If it did, I do not know about it. My district allowed me to go after I talked to them and showed them the material on the glacier site from last year. They believed it was a great chance for our students to reach out into the world through me. I really do not know if they had any direct contact with NSF. Each time that I asked they told me they had not heard from them.
(4) The expectations are not clearly described. I simply did whatever I can to my students, teachers, and some other schools.
To my knowledge, it was fine. I know of no problems - My Sub. did not have a good experience, but she was a 21 year old inexperienced teacher who did not get a job in August. The kids were tough for her. I felt bad.
Reasonable and clearly defined by NSF.
I feel they are quite reasonable. It takes a team effort to produce anything of this magnitude. If the district is not willing to assist in the exciting phases of the program, then they will not be willing to promote the post activities. These post activities are the key to a successful program for they are what pass on the information to others.
I think that the expectations are high -- but they should be! This is a fantastic opportunity for any teacher/educator. I would hope that they want to work really hard to share the experience with as many people as possible.
I'm not sure that I understand this question, but I can only describe the expectations of this TEA parcticipant. They were threefold:
A. To experience as much of Antarctica as I could in the time that I was there so that I would be able to translate the experience into classroom activities, curricula, and presentations. In light of the above objectives I felt that this was the most important thing I could do professionally. It would include getting to know other researchers and the nature of their work as well as to familiarize myself with the history of the Antarctic and certain peripheral issues pertaining to life in Antarctica (e.g. social, recreational). My daily experiences would be recorded in a journal and published on the Glacier website as would digital photos. Interested parties (including my students) would be able to communicate with me via e-mail and video conferencing.
B. To integrate with the research team to which I was assigned and parcticipate in the science.
C. To disseminate information as described above upon my return.
My school district had no expectations.
3) How would you change these expectations?
I would not change the teacher expectations but would maybe have more contact with the district as a whole. I have gone into classrooms since I came back and had students trying to follow on the net while I was down there only because I went out and pushed what I was doing. Our technical director put it on the school's web and we did get it in the paper and such but only through my efforts.
I would have liked to have a little more support from the district administration. My principal was great and helped in all sorts of ways, including release time to spend with a gifted group that I was working with in the middle school, before,(during ??) and after.
Clear descriptions can be given to TEA parcticipants concerning the tasks, developing science programs, keeping journals, making presentations, etc.
Should have tried to hire a retired experienced teacher.
Would not change.
I feel they should include some mandatory presentations within the school realm. It isn't for the glorification of the teacher, it is for the promotion and facilitation of research and science techniques.
Make sure that they are clearly described prior to a teacher's (and a school district's) acceptance. I think they are clearly spelled out right now. In other words, I don't see this as a change ... just continue to do more of the same.
(SSS: 2 and 3: still room for communication improvement here - mostly for districts - the TEAs seem quite aware of their commitments:
For the TEAs: copy of specific expectations by NSF of the district; copy of clear and specific TEA responsibilities
For the school district: copy of specific expectations by NSF of the district and the TEA; demonstration of positive PR impact of TEA, request for outreach release time, request that the TEA work with the district curriculum developers.
The issue of having a quality substitute is CRUCIAL - piece of mind for the TEA and responsibility to the students)
4) Were you provided sufficient information about what to expect about the environment, working conditions, your research, etc. before leaving? 1 2 3 4 5 (excellent)
5 I felt very comfortable with the knowledge that was given to us about Antarctica from NSF and also from my PI. I never was fully told about the research that the PI was doing. My PI had a project for us which was a sub project and that is all the PI really cared that we did. I did not see nor was I told about the other sections of the project that the PI was doing. I did ask and the PI did show a couple of them after the PI had completed them but even today I know less about my PI's project than about the other scientist projects going on at our camp.
I knew exactly what to expect. I wore 2# ankle weights and carried a 40# back pack for two weeks before I left. The students in school enjoyed that. They kept trying to sneak more weights into the pack. The day before I left the teachers in High-School all carried back packs to sorta support my efforts.
4 - Knowing a bit more what life is like on board (schedules) etc. would have helped with clothing choices. (I was lucky to have Steph, but most are not and this info is not readily available.) (SSS: TEA-prepared manuals?)
5) What suggestions do you have that could assist future TEA parcticipants in the first steps of preparation?
I guess from my experience, I would suggest that they make sure their PI talks to them and tells them what is happening before they leave for the continent. I was given one set of dates for going and returning from the continent. When I arrived in Las Angles to catch the plane I was given a whole different return date - not from my PI but from the PI's assistant. This left problems for me since I had arranged for a special sub and she had planned on a set amount of money. I had also requested in July permits to leave the continent with rocks but my PI did not get them turned in on time so I did not get them either. They had to be turned in 6 weeks prior to our leaving and the PI did not manage to get them in. I would suggest that they find out how to do some of that themselves, if possible to relieve the PI since they are so busy. Another concern that I had was the money for travel during the summer time. My PI told me that the PI would send tickets and then two weeks before we were to be there the PI told us to get our own. We had to pay for our tickets, glacier glasses, car rental, hotel and food for 2 weeks from our own pocket. There was a promise that it would be paid back quickly. We went to New Zealand on our own money with no site of the money we had spent months before. I would prepare them for this possibility. It is tough to try to come up with that kind of money without warning. I finally got paid right after Christmas. My trip was in July.
Find out what are essential items to take in advance directly from the researchers, not from NSF, and avoid taking too much without really knowing whether or not you need. I made a mistake in taking with me too much; I was overly prepared. It is so important to keep daily journals and take enough pictures.
Just toughen up a little. Remember I'm an old guy (57) and not in prime athletic shape any more.
I would have liked to be mentored by a former TEA parcticipant. A researcher's perspective is different than an educators.(SSS: Mentoring of TEArctic teachers by previous TEArctic parcticipants will be the standard starting year two, as we now have the people-resources)
See question 4. Certainly continue the orientation where there is interface between the past, present and future TEAs.
Do your homework! Read about Antarctica! Look at things on the internet. Read the Glacier site. Spend time preparing yourself!
I was notified by telephone of my selection shortly after April 1st. It was several weeks after this before I received any formal notification and even then I only had a vague understanding about what commitments my employer would have to make if they allowed me to parcticipate. As the school year drew rapidly to a close many details were fuzzy and unsettled. I couldn't provide dates for which a substitute would be needed. I had no clear timeline to work from and the program seemed to lack administrative perspicuity.
6) How do you describe the quality of interaction with your mentor? (poor) 1 2 3 4 5 (excellent)
3 My mentor was very nice but was very preoccupied both in the summer and during our trip to Antarctica. the PI was very concerned about the science and getting off the continent as fast as the PI could. We worked very long hours every day so that the PI could get back to New Zealand to go hiking with the PI's assistant. We finished the whole project in less than two weeks and were home before we were scheduled to even leave Siple Dome. We went into the Dome with out going through some of the training because the PI was in a hurry. The PI was to give us the training but never did. I found it frustrating to do nothing but work and have no outside activities to look back on as being fun. We did not do any real exploring since the PI had done it the year before and just wanted to get back to New Zealand.
We had a student with us that was sponsored by NSF. I felt that he was extremely frustrated since he really did not have any interest in the science being done. I felt that we were being treated as undergrads being used as techs for finishing one section of a project but without much understanding of it. I know that the student has no clue what we were doing there or why. I also found that I had to defend proper methods in the field on a section of the project that we were doing that I had more knowledge of than the assistant or the student. I did not like feeling that I had to defend what I did if it were correct and helping the project not injuring it in any way. I was always on the defensive since I believed on the continent that my knowledge and judgment was always under attack. My PI seemed oblivious to this whole affair.
5 Simply great. We became very good friends.
Mine did a good job of preparing me.
3 The group was great! I would have liked more interaction while in the Arctic, but the scheduling problems prevented this
5 - I was always kept abreast of schedules, objectives, etc.
C. Field Experience
7) Were the research goals clear to you? yes no
The goals were explained as to what we were doing as part of the project but the over all goals were not there. I discovered by talking to the other scientist in the camp what was happening and how it would all go together. I still do not know all of the experiments that my PI did or how they are being related to the rest of the PI's work. Yes!
Goals were clear.
YES! I knew what I was doing and why. Also, the pieces of others too.
Did you parcticipate in the research as you anticipated? yes no
I did the permeability of the core taken from Antarctic last year during the summer at CORREL. This year on the continent we did the 20 meters of core that was being drilled at the site for us. We also did surveying of sustrugi as we had been told that we would do. I had hoped to be able to see other parts of my PI's work and even help with it. It did not happen. I did accomplish more by talking with the other people at camp. Some of their science had nothing to do with the WAISCORE project.
I did the research.
Intermediate. The research focus changed from parcticipation in an on-going project to a preliminary study of a "new" project.
Yes, in that I had my own project. I did something a bit different than originally planned because of the crunched time schedule.
Will you continue to parcticipate in the research project? yes no
Not that I know of. My PI has not been in contact since we came back about the project or coming to my classroom.
No, because it is difficult to obtain the data from Greenland.
Doubtful -- My project "froze out" - I was working on Glacial Melt water and only a few days early were above freezing. I joined in and helped three other groups in the Valley.
Yes - as possible.
Yes. They want me to actually write a piece on my findings. Since it is part of the larger program, there will always be extensions to what we did.
8) Were the TEA objectives and "needs" clear to your PI and research team? (poor)  2 3 4 5 (excellent)
1 I really do not feel that my PI or the assistant had a clue what was expected of me by the TEA program. The PI did read the journals right after coming back cause the PI told me the PI did (only communications from the PI). That was the first time that the PI realized what I was doing. I believe the PI used us as free help to complete a part of the project that normally would not have gotten done.
Absolutely. I was given the time and freedom to explore and experience as needed.
Were these supported? (poor) 1 2 3 4 5 (excellent)
I don't know if the PI supported me or not. I had obtained a computer from ASA at McMurdo through the AGO group and used it to write my journals nightly. I knew what I had to do and did it.
Everything was supported well.
5 By the whole group on board!
9) How would you describe the quality of your interaction with your PI (or proxy) and other members of your research team? (poor) 1 2 3 4 5 (excellent)
1 My PI was very busy getting the PI's stuff done and the PI expected us to do the same. We did not talk alot but the PI was nice. My PI's assistant did not like me and let it be known often. I felt that no matter what I did it was never good enough or done right even if I knew how to do it and the assistant did not. The student in our group made it clear that he was there only to put it on his resume and he really did not want to have much to do with any of us at all. He spent any time he could with earphones on his ears so there was no conversation while working at all. I felt relief when we finally separated since I did not feel that I was wanted around them or that anything that I did would ever be good enough for them. I found I spent most of my time alone or with people that did not want to talk to me or be around me. This was not a good ego thing at least for me.
We got along fine, they were good people to work with.
3 Too limited. I would have liked more instruction.
5 - Always treated with respect (except by Neptune's day of tribute) and given all the explanation desired. I did time the questions so they hit any given person during a reasonably quiet time and not when things were really pressing.
10) What suggestions do you have for PI's and research teams to better assist TEA parcticipants?
I would hope that in the future the PI's really want to take someone with them that they can communicate with. I would like to see them encourage and maybe even help write journals with a better understanding of the science going on. I believe that the teacher should be treated as if they have some intelligence and with some respect for the contribution that they can make toward the project.
Follow my PI's example. Keep in touch (email is great) prior to and during the trip.
Before the expedition?
My problems did not exist before the expedition except with the student. He felt that I knew nothing and that because I was female and a teacher that I was the enemy. I assumed it was because of his age and the fact that he really did not like doing science. His interest was in computers and he preferred not to be anywhere around me even this summer.
Give a good orientation about the project and climate.
Just keep each other informed what's happening each way.
Reading materials focused on the specific project - need as much background material as possible.
I was able to do many of the same things at the university visit that I did on the trip. I also got to work with the people I worked with in AA. A big plus.
Point them in the right direction to help with content. Most teachers only have free time in the summer, so this needs to be done early.
During the expedition?
I guess this is just that both PI and teacher must respect each other and treat each other as professionals. Most teachers have some science background that are there and it helps if the PI's realize we chose to teach because that is what we felt was our calling. We are not beneath them on the intelligence scale and are capable of doing things well. In return, I feel we must as teachers respect the scientists and their work. I would like to have seen some of Antarctica - at least around McMurdo. I would like to see the PI's help find places to expand the teachers experiences so that they can give the students a whole picture and not just a small one. My experience may have been different that others since my PI was in such a hurry to leave. I did what I could and tried to see as much as possible but I would have liked to have someone help by saying did you get a chance to .... and then help it come about. Get the teachers involved in every phase of research work.
Same way - just stay in touch.
Maximum interaction with those working on the same or overlapping projects.
Have a couple of sit-down sessions to keep info current and to expose any problems. Keep the teachers in the loop of info.
Make sure and explain what is going on. Explain what the different pieces of equipment are and what their purpose is. I was so pleased that my PI listened to all of my questions and answered them (sometimes more than once). I would hope that this is true of all PIs, but I assume that it probably is not.
To be aware of the multiple commitments that Tea's have
After the expedition?
I guess, I was relieved to be away from my group so I haven't had much to do with them since. I have e-mailed my PI but really haven't heard from the PI.
Continue to communicate and exchange information on current research activities.
Not sure about this one yet.
A follow-up meeting. I anticipate this to be accomplished through NSTA and other meetings.
Let us know how the data are shaking out and future plans of research. Proof activities before they are submitted to be certain the science is correct.
Remain in contact.
Did your PI visit your school? Before the season? After the season?
No, the PI talked about it but as yet I have not heard from the PI. No, it is too far away from Colorado to New Jersey.
PI did not visit before the trip and I doubt if he (or proxy Kathy ) will afterward.
No. Really not applicable.
Not before; there are nebulous plans for after.
Yes, before the season.
No visitation by PI
(SSS: THERE IS FUNDING AVAILABLE THROUGH THE TEA PROGRAM FOR RESEARCHERS TO VISIT THE TEA'S SCHOOL! Are there other obstacles to overcome? Are the TEAs and researchers unaware of this opportunity? Part of the TEA Program is ensuring professional development for the researchers as well as sharing the research experience in the classroom.)
11) What suggestions do you have for TEA's to better assist PI's?
I guess in my case it was try to communicate better before and during the expedition. The TEA should be prepared to do anything and everything during the research.
Be active. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
Can't think of a thing.
Have a clearly defined task with the necessary equipment to complete the task.
Pay attention to what the PI needs. You are replacing a lab tech probably and you need to keep up with the work required by that person. Be sure to ask questions so that you will truly understand the whole picture the PI is trying to obtain so that you will later be able to base activities on that.
Clearly communicate your needs and expectations.
(SSS: Still need some work on the relationship between the TEA and the PI - in some cases between the TEA program objectives and the PI. More communication - of the right kind - of goals and expectations and project specifics is needed.
Provide the PI's a list of recommendations in the early announcements - discuss prompt payment and assumption of travel costs up front, methods introducing the project, big picture, small picture, materials needed, research and educational objectives of TEA, etc.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Research goals, once again, were clear. There seems to be an increased expectation that the TEA will continue to parcticipate in the project over previous years [=good} and defined ways in which this will occur. Based on previous evaluations, there has been obvious improvement in matching research interests of the PI and the TEA!
Suggestion: TEAs start keeping PI posted on classroom activities - before and after the research experience - how does the TEA plan incorporating the experience; how is incorporation progressing? This shows interest, demonstrates the TEAs field of expertise, and may generate dialog - especially if the PI becomes involved in the activity development.)
12) How do you describe the quality of technical support you received in the posting of your electronic journals and images? (poor) 1 2 3 4 5 (excellent)
5 I found the people from ASA to be the greatest I have come across. They did everything that they could for me including getting me a lap top to take into the field. I have nothing but praise and admiration for the ASA group and the AGO group.
Sorry, I did not try this yet, but I will try in near future.
It was fine, I'm not good with computers and needed and received lots of help.
5 - It took a bit of communication at first to set up what was needed, but after that was established then everything went fine. Need to designate someone at home to check journals and pictures to be sure it is all getting posted correctly. You cannot check stuff on the web in the field. (SSS: will do for next season)
3/4 -- Some problems at first with both the TEA site and also with the sending of digital pictures from the ship. These problems, however, were resolved.
(SSS: I am not sure how to provide TEA's with specific technical assistance, given the number of different issues we met - and the huge number of different systems encountered in Antarctica - to no system in the Arctic. I look to the mentor TEAs to discuss their experiences at the orientation.
Providing the PIs and the field support people with specific needs will be helpful (though, this does not always smooth the way!) e.g., the TEA will send one journal arcticle each day (10 K), 2 images (100 K), and 25 e-mail messages to schools (<100 K). This clearly will help the Antarctic support personnel plan. Arctic?
A few specifics:
The TEA journal program is now automated completely.
A method for mailing images (not an FTP site!) is now available. A tool for mailing images so that they are inserted into the selected journal entry is now available.
A point to ponder: How do we involve students/teachers/other in the Northern Hemisphere SUMMER Arctic program? What summer programs can/should incorporate this resource?)
13) How do you describe your field experience? (poor) 1 2 3 4 5 (excellent)
I can't put a number to it. I loved being in Antarctica and I liked doing the "science" that I was allowed to do. It was a very positive experience with my gaining new insights into the way scientist work and use the material that I teach. This has allowed me to put a new slant to the way that I teach physics and hopefully a good one for my students. This has to be one of the greatest experiences in my life. It is certainly one that I will never forget and my students today and in the future will not forget either.
3 to 4
Tremendous! 5+ It could not have been better.
If you could go back, what would you change?
I WOULD LOVE TO GO BACK any time and anywhere on the continent. The only thing I would change would be my PI for the above reasons.
I will study Greenland culture and language and get to know the people there. I will take more money to travel while in Greenland. I will plan more carefully so that I can travel in Greenland.
Not much - took to many clothes- My lab experience would have been better had I gotten more water to test. I live in Iowa and know how important good weather is to lots of things happening. It does not always happen.
I would ask to be in an established project with specific deliverables. Also I would stay more than two weeks.
My eating habits! I gained 7 pounds! Seriously, I was given the royal treatment and parcticipated in a great deal. Having my own project was a stress, but it has its positive aspects too.
I would read a textbook on glacial geology. I would visit more classrooms prior to my trip.
I would make this suggestion irrespective of whether or not I returned to Antarctica: The major flaw in the TEA Program as I see it is that it assumes that a research experience is going to make the parcticipant a better science teacher. TEA is selecting for accomplished professional educators. Many, if not most, have already had a fair amount of "real science." They understand science as a way of knowing and already infuse this into their classroom teaching. In my opinion serving time as a mini- graduate student conducting a polar research project does nothing to make me a better science teacher. More importantly, it ignores my professional talent and accomplishments that attracted the attention of the TEA selection committee in the first place. The research project limits the time and energy I can devote to experiencing Antarctica in a way which would be most useful to students and other teachers.
While in Antarctica I met writers and nature photographers who were there in analogous roles. They also were to use their professional expertise to translate the Antarctic experience into a format that could later be shared and understood by nonscientists. Although they did not conduct "real science" their professional talents were recognized and they assumed a complementary professional role while in Antarctica.
In contrast, I was not viewed as a visiting professional but as a new grad student. I assumed the lowest position in the research team's pecking order and was only viewed as a professional outside the research team. It was more than implied that the vast majority of my time and energy was owed to the research team. I was even told not to spend too much time on my "teacher things."
To me, these "teacher things" were far more important than the professionally myopic and narrowly focused perspective of Antarctica that I would receive from my research project alone. The project represented a minuscule amount of the material I could potentially select for integration into classroom activities. I felt that answering e-mail, writing thought provoking journal entries, enhancing digital images for posting on the website, parcticipating in CU- See Me sessions, visiting the labs of other researchers, and researching material on related topics robbed the research team of time I should spend with their science. I recall spending many nights writing my journal and enhancing digital images at 1:00 AM or later because of this.
This is counterproductive, especially in light of the perceived goals stated in #1 and #2 above. Why aren't teachers allowed to act first as teachers? We are the ones who "process" science so that it can be understood by our students. The role of scientists and their grad students is very different. I feel strongly that I should have been able to spend the vast majority of my time doing the "teacher things" which were so frowned upon. If I was free to visit the labs of the other scientists and learn more about their research I feel I would have had a much broader experience. Why not require a research project from the visiting artists, writers, photographers, etc.? Would it make them better at what they do professionally?
(SSS: I think we should start pondering how we get TEAMS of Teacher's in Residence in Antarctica and the Arctic. These would be second year teachers who have parcticipated in the research project. I feel the first year parcticipation is necessary to "learn the ropes" and provide a frame for expansion/integration of polar education and research [see also comments concerning impact of involvement in research - below]. The teachers would then prepare a proposal of what they wish to do and submit this to a TEA panel. TiR's would stay on site for one to two months in the role of professional teacher. They would be the interface between researchers and research support personnel and classrooms. They would prepare activities, conduct experiments, correspond with students and teachers, facilitate CUSeeMe sessions and work to train/involve the polar community in the outreach effort. At the close of each day, they would get one to two hours of sleep.)
D. Educational Experience
14) How did the research experience impact your professional development?
This experience has allowed me to see how the scientist actually put together theory and test it. I saw instruments being used that I did not even know existed. I saw people doing things that I have only read about and now can actually say I saw. I like to teach with a usefulness to everything that I do in the class room. My experience showed me how theory in the classroom comes alive in the field. It also gave me a way of seeing a larger picture to the uses of science. The science I saw crossed over into all educational subjects and brought learning to a high I had not seen before.
I gained an in-depth knowledge in RADAR technology and experience in the Arctic climate.
Not a lot here - I do water and wastewater testing every week as a part time job. Project may help a little with that.
I have shared my experiences with other educators and will continue to do so.
It gave a much clearer picture of how difficult research is in the field. It also let me see how many things have yet to be studied.
I had no experience in research prior to this experience. That alone will change who I am and how I teach. I know that it will have an impact in my future classrooms -- but I can't give very many definite's yet.
The research experience had very little impact on my professional development.
How might it continue to do so in the future?
I hope to use what I learned in Antarctica in my classroom. I like the trial and error method I saw there and the experimental part. I would love to incorporate scientific write ups as part of their normal labs. I would like to see a way to develop a deep questioning of the things happening around my students so that they may develop thinking skills that can reason out problems such as they are experimenting on elsewhere. I would like to make my students aware of their environment and the problems that are going to face us in the future. Through my experience I have learned that we use history of the earth to better our future and I would love to see one of my students solve one of the problems that will face us in the future. I also want them to question science as taught and maybe they will be the one to send us into deep space at the speed of light!!!!! I wish to conduct a study in the Arctic ecological biome, but it seems very difficult to obtain any grant, because I am just a high school teacher.
In the future I hope to mentor another teacher in the TEA program. Several Appalachia teachers are interested in applying.
We really need to step up the research opportunities in high school and undergraduate work. More lab time and better equipment are a goal of mine.
I had no experience in research prior to this experience. That alone will change who I am and how I teach. I know that it will have an impact in my future classrooms -- but I can't give very many definite's yet.
15) How would you describe the educational experience for the classrooms that experienced Antarctica and the Arctic through you?
I hope that the students in the classrooms that I have talked to and written to will question science as I saw it being questioned in Antarctica. I also hope that they find an interest in the problems that are being studied there. Environmental problems in the US take a back seat sometimes but I tried to tell them that Antarctica is a laboratory studying the earth from its past to its future. We just need time to unlock the secrets that are there. I hope that we can inspire students so that they want to work in a scientific field and make the earth a better place.
I produced a great slide presentation that used more than 130 picture images stored in my computer. Every time when I present the show, students are excited to see the very different world, its people, its wildlife, ice caps, icebergs, the incredible daylight time in summer, etc. It is fascinating to them because students have never been there.
Really changed a lot here at school. I went into our second grade class yesterday to tell them I was back and not frozen stiff. The walls were covered with penguin pictures that the students had constructed. -- I got e-mail from 6-8 schools in Iowa and 4-5 from other states, mostly teacher friends from other summer programs I have done. -- Our small community of 1500 was really affected. I have taught here for 37 years in the same room and know most of the people in the community. My journal page was posted each day at the bowling alley coffee table, the sale barn cafe, and several beauty shops on the square. Lots of community people learned how to use the internet. One lady told me that I had really improved the cultural level of the Community. I'm just starting my slide shows for the churches and Farm Bureau groups.
Disappointing. I did not receive the amount of e-mail from students that I had anticipated. Yes I got some, but mainly from my own kids. Those I did write had to do so through the teacher and that lost some of the spontaneity and excitement. It is coming, but the e-mail age is not quite at the school room level yet.
The educational experience was great! A lot of classrooms parcticipated, and I've received many notes, pictures, and even books written by students that show how involved the students were in learning about Antarctica while I was down there. I've heard more positive responses than I can count.
I believe it varied from classroom to classroom and school to school. The most significant impact was on my daughter's 3rd grade class. We kept in touch regularly via e-mail and CU-See Me while in Antarctica. Upon my return I visited and gave a slide presentation. Throughout this time the classroom teachers in the 3rd grade team had an interdisciplinary Antarctic theme. They read books, discussed my adventures, read my journals and viewed photo entries on the Internet, sent e-mail, and even produced a play about Antarctica.
16) What types of questions did you receive from students while in the field? Where did these questions originate (e.g., rough estimate of the number from your classroom, your district, your state, other states). Did you have sufficient time and resources to address the questions?
I did not have e-mail while on the ice in the field. When I returned to McMurdo we were there over Thanksgiving so my journals started, got lost for two weeks and then were all there after Thanksgiving and I was on my way home. I have direct interaction in classrooms with students doing projects before I went and then finishing up after I came back. I did not have any mail while down there. I know alot followed but I was home and went into some of the classrooms when I did.
I received some e-mails from my students about how I was in Greenland, what types of animals I encountered, what I eat, etc.
Just general stuff - temperature - toilets - conditions - wild life. My elementary School - 75 e-mails secondary school 25 e-mails others from my state 50 e-mails other states 25 e-mails I had plenty of time while at McMurdo - tough in the field
Question were excellent and well thought out. NO trash question of showers and food etc. This lets me know that the freedom to explore on the part of the students was not really there. Resources could have been better. Having a reference book on Antarctica could have been a real help. Researchers were always willing to help, though, if it was their area of expertise.
I received questions about everything from penguins to the handicapped accessibility of the ship. Students and teachers (and others) sent questions, and I averaged about 20 e-mails with questions each day. Less than 1% were from my own classroom. About 50% were from my district. About 65% were from my state. The rest were from the United States, Canada, and Belize (Central America).
Most questions I received in the field originated from my daughter's 3rd grade class as I outlined in # 15 above. I severely limited e-mail from my high school students when my sub continuously failed to act responsibly and allowed it to be abused. The time/resources component was addressed in #13 above.
(SSS: PR BEFORE the trip seems key to involving students and teachers FROM OTHER CLASSROOMS [a TEA goal] This can be accomplished with little background in the specific science and only general knowledge about Antarctica and the Arctic. The TEA, by virtue of desiring to go, probably knows more about the general area than most potential audiences. To share the excitement of the adventure to come will energize others to follow in the classroom. "I don't know yet - but will find out" is an acceptable answer when embarking on an expedition.
Point to ponder: How does TEA increase the educational impact of the program? Speaking with classes is a one-time event. Perhaps pointing other teachers in the directions of resources and activities before, during, and after, may help leverage the experience - classrooms can "parcticipate" in the Antarctic/Arctic experience through activities and THEN interact with the TEAs for an enriched classroom experience.)
17) How will you integrate your experience into your classroom? Beyond your classroom and into other non-TEA classrooms?
I have shown slides, pictures, journals posted on bulletin boards, and talks within my city and area. I use the research that I saw happening there as examples in my class all the time to explain a principle that I am trying to get across. If I have pictures it is even better and it holds their interest. I have also followed the other teachers, placed their journals on the bulletin board and sent them onto teachers without access to the internet. I have talks lined up on a campus and several boy scout and church groups. I hope to reach as many people in and out of classrooms about Antarctica and the science being done there. (I have talked at local grade schools already and have one that has done projects on my research.) .
My experience about the Arctic ecology will be a part of our long term research project when my biology students begin their independent project. My knowledge in RADAR technology will be incorporated into a new Physics program in which we can use internet connection directly to the University of Colorado to obtain the real time data from Greenland.
Not sure about classroom yet. I will do a presentation at Iowa Science Teachers Convention.
I will be sharing information with students in other teachers classrooms. I do not have a teaching assignment.
Activities in the form a 6 week unit during a TEAs travels will be used. All these activities and ideas will be shared through TEA and Glacier.
I have already used the experiences in class during our discussions in oceanography class. For example, one of our chapters discusses seafloor sediments (types, how to obtain them, etc.). Not only did I finally have the background experience personally, but also I could bring in slides (and samples) for the students to see. We also discussed sonar and mapping ... and the students really appreciated seeing the samples of maps that we made. It made everything so much more real to the students. Beyond that, I'm sure that I will be developing curriculum to integrate into my classroom -- but I've only been home a month and haven't gotten around to writing any of it yet.
I have already started speaking in other classrooms about our Antarctica adventures. These speaking engagements include slides of our trip, explaining the science, and answering questions. They responses have been very positive. In addition, I hope to share activities with other teachers (once I have them written).
To date I have made TEA presentations at my school, to my district's Board of Education, to my biology teacher colleagues at a professional meeting, to the students and faculty at a school in another district, and to a boy scout group. I teach a regents biology course with a very full and rigid curriculum and have only been able to integrate things anecdotally thus far. Hopefully I'll be able to develop some activities in the near future which will allow more integration. These would focus on Antarctic adaptations. When they are completed they can be posted on the Glacier, Access Excellence, and other websites.
18) What types of classroom materials will you develop following your return from the field? What is the time frame for development? How will other TEA parcticipants be involved in the development of these activities? How can these materials best be disseminated?
This one I am still thinking about. I would love to see something that can be done in a short period of time since most classes now have a set curriculum and that comes first. I would love to see something that can be done for fun in a couple of hours and that the kids will remember. Still working on it.
Not sure yet -- I will do slide shows - parcticularly show the females that worked in the lab and also in the field camps. Try to do most shows this spring. I will do a program to our staff in a couple of weeks, I was just asked to do a presentation at our Fall AEA teachers meeting.
I am working with an integrated science and literature unit for elementary students. The time frame is during/by the next fall. The materials can best be disseminated through teacher workshops.
Activities based on the types of research I saw happening. Long term monitoring of a local site will begin also. Materials will be developed by this summer and they will be shared on the internet. Hard to collaborate when not together. Materials will be disseminated on the Internet of course. But hard copies in a booklet form would be very nice.
I don't know about the specifics of what types of classroom materials I will be developing. I hope to finish some of them this summer (and continue working on more in the future). I think that it is good to work with other people in developing activities. I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together. These materials need to be in print as well as on the web. I plan on conducting workshops to share some of the activities with other teachers.
I hope to develop classroom materials related to Antarctic adaptations. The time frame and degree of collaboration depend upon a number of variables and is not clear at this writing. Dissemination (other that local) would be via the internet.
(SSS: It is exciting to see these plans and the recognition of extension into other classrooms as an important component! Key now - getting the word out about these materials!)
E. TEA Program Future
19) How can TEA support, before, during, and after, the expedition, be improved?
I found support from Rice and NSF great - can't figure out how to improve it.
Give more information to teachers before the expedition. Let the teacher choose the type of research. For example, I wanted to parcticipate very much in a biological project, but was given another project because of the NSF's limited fund. It is extremely important to send the teachers to the project they like most.
Just stay in touch -- Keep us informed I thought I stayed in touch OK.
Provide as much contact between the TEA and the PI as possible.
Give packet of previous activities so they will know from where to grow. What's been done and what needs to be addressed.
Continue the good network of communication.
Before...more clearly defined time line and earlier written commitment. As the school year winds down many things must be in place for the following school year. During... good communication and support. After...perhaps a follow-up/debriefing for parcticipants while the experiences are still fresh. (SSS: NSTA for the follow-up once all teachers are back from their experiences)
20) How can TEA parcticipants and materials be infused into non-TEA classrooms?
This I believe will have to come from TEA parcticipants, at least in my State. I believe we should commit to try and put stuff into the classroom through teacher in-services in our district or state organizations. Best way for me is through teachers that I know will use material. They seem to share with others that bring about an increase in use by all.
If the teachers parcticipate in the research of their choice, they will find ways to incorporate their materials into their science programs easily, developing a separate unit or formulating a major theme.
Always a problem - Each teacher is really in charge of their own classroom curriculum content. -- That's true where I am anyway. Encourage friends to parcticipate - Attend local, state , regional, and national meetings.
Possibly through classroom exchanges (teacher to teacher) or through formalized workshops and presentations.
Make them available for the cost of printing at NSTA and other CAST conventions. Also presentations at conventions to disseminate these goodies and to let them know the context.
Teacher workshops to introduce others to the materials.
Promotion of the TEA materials on the "Glacier" website and NYSTA, NABT, and other professional meetings is most appropriate. I would also suggest linking with other web resources such as Access Excellence so that teachers surfing those site could connect to TEA.
21) How can the impact of TEA be assessed? For the TEA parcticipant? For the classroom? For the community?
This I really don't know. I find the elementary teachers love what I have done in their classrooms and that I have many talks in the town itself. I guess the interest in those would be one way of assessing the program but outside of that I do not know.
A student and parent survey can assess the impact. For the teacher parcticipant, the curriculum materials developed by the teacher can demonstrate the quality.
Always hard to do adequate assessment -- I had lots of good experiences and few if any negatives ------ Classroom = the students were glad to see me return. I did think about that a little. I have to watch that I don't bore them with Antarctica stories ---- - Community = I told you that people really did follow my journal. I did have a person ask me where in the world is the South Pole?
You believe in hard questions, don't you? Possibly by the number of people requesting materials and those seeking info. For the TEA parcticipant: This questionnaire requires reflection and is quite good. For the classroom: Questionnaires for those using materials to evaluate the program. For the community: Feedback from other teachers, principals etc. in the district on how well it has been shared within the school community after a year.
Personal notes. Surveys such as this. Newspaper arcticles.
The TEA impact on the parcticipant can be assessed through periodic evaluations such as this one and include criteria which specifically addresses classroom and community impact.
(SSS: We'll do a follow-up survey to the TEA a year after the experience to see where we are in terms of activity development, sharing within the district and beyond, mentoring of other teachers, etc.....and I pledge that it will have fewer than 23 questions!!)
22) How do you see TEA growing in the future?
I would love to see TEA members getting a second chance to go back to Antarctica with the knowledge that they have now. I feel that it would be a plus for their increased involvement and that of their community and students. I would like to see us work with the people there that are communicating with classrooms already. I met alot of people working there that are writing to classrooms and would love to get a chance to work with them to add to the experience for the students. I would also like to see some way of staying in contact with people there after we leave for our classrooms to keep in touch. I know that we had at least 100 letters sent to Siple Dome but I do not know if they received them or not.
Expand it further and let more teachers parcticipate. When teachers want to continue their research, support such efforts.(SSS: $$ an issue here)
Really not sure what resources are available.
Through sharing by the TEAs to other teachers via personal contact or internet.
More time to work together as a team post experience to share activity ideas and to get connections between them.
One person at a time. I'm not trying to sound silly -- I think that it takes personal outreach for most things to grow. Each individual TEA parcticipant is responsible for helping it to grow. In addition, parcticipation at national meetings (such as NSTA) is a good way to encourage growth. Besides having a booth, we also need to have some presentations. It would be great if some of these presentations included introducing teachers to the curriculum and activities that are written by TEA parcticipants. Workshops can also be a great way to help teachers see how the journals can be included into their classrooms throughout the school year.(Conversation with Kim: apply for several workshop slots at the upcoming the NSTA to ensure that the TEA program gets at least one workshop)
Future growth for TEA depends upon the perceived value on a cost/benefits basis by all stakeholders.
(SSS: limited funding for parcticipation at workshops IS AVAILABLE - TEA teachers and TEA teams can present their personal experiences, materials available, opportunities to follow other teachers, etc.)
23) Other comments and suggestions?
This is the greatest experience in my life and I will gladly go again anytime. Thank you for the opportunity and all the help that you have given us. We could not have done any thing as grand if Rice University and Stephanie Shipp were not there with here encouragement and help. Thanks for all of it.
I wish NSF make funds available for high school teacher's research. They cannot do it without a financial help, because no public high school provides any research fund to teachers.
I liked the fact that my PI and I were opposite sex. That way we were not together all the time. My PI was a very nice person but I did not have to live with my PI like I might have if she had been male. -- I was able to meet and actually work with and learn from other teams in the Dry Valleys. I would not have enjoyed sitting in the lab and filtering water all day. I would have enjoyed visiting Siple Dome, or Palmer Station -- I really tried for the South Pole but did not make it. All in all I had a GREAT experience. Thanks
Thank you so much for this opportunity!!!!!!!!!
Keep up the terrific work! I think this is a great program for everyone involved -- teachers, students, school districts, NSF ... etc. I know that it takes a lot of time and dedication to coordinate a group such as TEA. You are doing a wonderful job!
I strongly recommend changing the focus of the TEA experience as I detailed in #13 above to take advantage of the teacher's expertise as a professional educator. Teachers currently must wear too many hats (i.e. neophyte researcher, absentee teacher, curriculum developer, TEA proselytizer). The main emphasis should be on what will best impact that teacher's professional development and how best to communicate and translate the experience to others.
Timing of Orientation for the TEArctic Community
When is an appropriate time to have the TEArctic orientation meeting? Note that, due to funding constraints, TEArctic parcticipants possibly will not be notified of their parcticipation until April; orientation must occur after notification.
Anytime during the summer will be good, because most teachers will find it very difficult to take off from school.
Orientation should be as soon as possible after notification.
Should this meeting be in conjunction with the TEAntarctic orientation meeting?
Separate meeting would be better. I never had any chance to attend the TEAntarctic orientation meeting. However, I went to the University of Colorado for one day orientation before I went to Greenland. This was very helpful because I got to know what kind of work I was going to do. This type of meeting with researchers would be most beneficial to TEA parcticipants.
Yes. However, the TEArctic Program should be given equal billing and time. Much of the orientation meeting I attended was focused on the Antarctic.(SSS: Absolutely; the 97/98 TEArctic orientation was a pilot, 98/99 will focus on providing appropriate information for TEArctic and TEAntarctic!)
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