The Geological Society of America held their annual meeting in Seattle, WA, in late October. This year, I had the privilege of attending and presenting with a fellow New York State Master Teacher about training pre-service and in-service teachers to write and implement inquiry labs in an outdoor setting, in an Earth Science classroom. We had an amazing trip, saw and did a lot in our short time on the West Coast, and I have several take-aways to share.
Items I want to share, in no particular order:
- Take advantage of excursions offered by conference planners. We thoroughly enjoyed the Foodie Tour of the Public Market (more commonly referred to as Pike Place Market). We enjoyed a variety of cuisines from creamy Greek yogurt to dungeness crab cakes, and the best New England clam chowder (yes, even though it’s on the West Coast, it is the national award winning recipe)! Our tour guide Heather was informative, dramatic at times, and gave a nice behind-the-scenes tour of this world famous location! Oh, and the “original” Starbucks is not actually the original…
- The Sun shines in Seattle! A LOT!
- The Seattle Monorail goes from downtown to the Space Needle in 90 seconds!
- From the top of the Space Needle we saw the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. It was a perfect day.
- If I ever head back to the area, I would like to go and visit the Olympic Bike and Skate Shop, in Port Orchard, WA. You see, we met Fred Karakas, the shop’s owner atop the Space Needle. Fred is the MAN! He is a Vietnam veteran, leading a reunion of fellow vets to the Space Needle. With a background in biochemistry, Fred spent the better part of an hour teaching us how to get muscle cells to operate at their maximum level by completing his method of High Intensity Interval Training. We met Fred’s daughter, fighter pilot buddies, got a history of the entire area, saw him at lunch at The Collections Cafe, and ran into him again in the Chihuly Glass Gardens.
- The ladies from Eastern Oregon deserve an award more so than their own bulleted section. These ladies are public school teachers who presented directly next to us. Their topic? The implementation of NGSS in Oregon public schools over the last four years. They have great ideas, and more importantly… they have experience in writing and implementing year’s worth of NGSS lessons! We are invited to Zoom with their planning group, and I cannot wait to learn from their expertise. Work smarter, not harder, people!
- Great resources for implementing NGSS-aligned lessons include GETSI – GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues at: https://serc.carleton.edu/getsi/index.html and also InTeGrate – Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future at: https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/index.html
- I am particularly interested in this from GETSI – Ice Mass and Sea Level Changes: https://serc.carleton.edu/getsi/teaching_materials/ice_sealevel/index.html
- It would be nice if there was a clearinghouse of sorts for people to share and save NGSS aligned lessons, for the rest of us to see, adapt, and share on a national level.
- I need to join NAGT.
- Dr. Lee is a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He is interested in working to promote better hydrogeology labs, and will share his expertise and an absolutely great artesian aquifer lab with us in the very near future!
- There is a severe underrepresentation in geoscience education in the United States. We need to promote and develop geoscientists from all fields in the very near future. If not, the future of our nation may very well be in peril!
Here’s my view, looking south, from the Space Needle! Spectacular!