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Teaching Teachers about the Earth - MiTEP's Summer Class Design


We have designed two two-week long summer field classes for earth science teachers that are taught as a series of day-long inquiry-based outdoor classes. Each day is based on a big idea from Earth Science Literacy Principles and also highlights a set of misconceptions. We have strong linkage to GPS and Google Earth and use Earthcache development procedures. The daylong schedule typically involves several field sites in Michigan, about half in the UP and half in southern Michigan near the classrooms of the MiTEP teachers. We use visiting experts who interact with the classes for one to 2 hour periods to highlight specialized subjects. The overall emphasis is on breadth of the earth science with attention paid to where the topic impacts all people. Web linkages to details backup and lesson plan materials from every days activities provides depth of the material and preserves impact . Teachers take the two sessions on successive summers and in their third year do interpretive internships with a Michigan National Park. We are now in our third year of class offerings and have two more to go. Overall we hope to bring modern and contemporary earth science awareness to middle schools in western Michigan by using Michigan place associations and examples.