Environmental Science - GIS/GPS

Discipline Group: 

Environmental Science

Digging for a dinosaur

24 middle school students and 11 teachers from across eastern Montana participated in the ITEST Paleo Exploration Project, which linked the group with scientists in the field (literally).  Participants discovered that while digging for dinosaurs can be exciting, it's not as easy as the popular movie makes it seem, and sometimes a lot of patience is required to unearth even a single bone.


Learning about Urban Ecology Through the use of Visualization and Geospatial Technologies

During the past three years we have been designing and implementing a technology enhanced urban ecology program using geographic information systems (GIS) coupled with technology. Our initial work focused on professional development for in-service teachers and implementation in K-12 classrooms. However, upon reflection and analysis of the challenges that our in-service teachers faced while implementing our projects in their classrooms, we began to infuse our National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded ITEST work into our pre-service teacher preparation program.


Examining 4-H Robotics and Geospatial Technologies in the Learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Topics

The study reported here investigated the use of educational robotics, paired with GPS and GIS geospatial technologies, as a context for learning selected concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics within a 4-H camp setting. The study involved 38 students between the ages of 11 to 15. A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was used in the study, with a 29-question multiple-choice instrument targeting various academic topics.


In ecology classes, kids see Boston’s true nature

ITEST project Urban Ecology Institute supports science teachers with environmental curricula, materials and training.  Of note, UEI’s focus on the needs of urban students and their teachers has led the organization to develop a curriculum on environmental justice and injustice: how power and poverty determine which communities suffer environmental hazards, and which do not.


Students say goodbye to CREST

After five years, sixteen school partnerships, 75 community partnerships, 300 direct student and teacher collaborations, thousands of students reached indirectly, and over 40 community-based projects, CREST is winding down.  This ITEST project has spent the past five years linking classroom technology with community needs while improving the learning experience for both student and teachers in the process. Student projects ranged from creating ABC books about island landmarks to trail mapping for local land trusts and multi-layered historical and ethnographic research. 


Students consider energy future

At the five-day Energy for ME Summer Institute students and teachers from six middle schools are gaining skills by working with Maine Energy Education Program (MEEP) instructors data literacy skills, geographic information system (GIS) and ethnography educators. The skills they learn from this ITEST project will help them develop projects in their communities to lower energy costs. Progress will be monitored by analyzing electricity usage in four buildings in each of their communities using eMonitors.


Digging dinosaurs

Led by UM Paleontology Center Director George Stanley, UM geologist and sediment specialist Marc Hendrix, and other university researchers, student-teacher teams from across Eastern Montana found, unearthed, photographed and recorded their discoveries as part of the Paleo Exploration Project, an ITEST project based out of the University of Montana.


Camp features oldest and newest things

Northeastern Montana middle schoolers have just completed a unique camp that ties the allure of finding dinosaurs to the magic of technology. Guided by teachers who were a part of the ITEST Paleo Exploration Project, young people discovered a triceratops frill, the rib and tooth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, what is possibly a new flowering plant for the Cretaceous period, and the scientific method over the course of two one-week summer camps.


Dinosaurs - an ancient bridge to new learning

30 middle school teachers from 20 Eastern Montana schools are participants in the ITEST Paleo Exploration Project, created in partnership between the University of Montana and Fort Peck Paleontology.  As part of this project, teachers go through several 2-day intensive trainings on using GPS units and GIS software; over summer, they will bring students to one of two summer institutes where they will do real, scientific work on fossil material that they (teachers and students) might find.


Spatial Analysis of Fossil Sites in the Northern Plains: A Unique Model for Teacher Education

Understanding science and technology is key to our next generation’s success. Conveying the excitement of science and effectively melding it with technology in both field and classroom settings can be a challenge for many K–12 educators. Middle school is a critical juncture in a child’s educational experience, when interest in science and technology is budding. If this interest is captured, it can lead to a lifetime of learning and, for some, a rewarding profession.