A beneficial result of COSEE’s highly flexible model is the diversity of partnerships with a common goal: to further ocean science education. At COSEE-OS, collaborations are ongoing with four universities/research institutions, several informal education centers, and targeted public schools around the New England region. After seeing a concept map created through one of these partnerships -- the Informal Educator-Scientist Collaborative Workshop held at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH -- science teacher, Michele Benoit, decided to showcase the COSEE-OS tools in her classroom in Bangor, Maine.
Carrie Armbrecht (COSEE-OS staffer and University of Maine graduate student in the School of Marine Sciences) met Michele through their work with the Maine Challenger Learning Center on a Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant called, C's to Shining C: Connecting Climate to Curriculum
. At Michele’s invitation, Carrie and COSEE-OS Marine Education Associate, Medea Steinman, recently visited four general chemistry classes at Bangor High School. They presented the COSEE-OS Ocean Climate Interactive
(OCI) and Concept Map Builder
(CMB) (now a part of CLIMB
) to 39 11th and 12th grade students. COSEE-OS usually focuses on providing professional development for educators, so this collaboration marks the first time that staff have interacted directly with high school students in the classroom. The visit was very informative for both Michele and COSEE-OS staff as valuable insights were made into how Michele’s students may be able to use the tools more effectively in their learning.
The 60-minute chemistry classes varied in composition and abilities of the students. They also varied by time of day, with the post-lunch presentations proving more challenging. Nonetheless, students engaged with the tools with relative ease and each developed a concept map on the topic of their choice. Michele Benoit is continuing to use the OCI/CMB in the classroom as a lecture presentation aid; a note-taking tool; as a test reference/study guide (with bonus incentives for the time students put into developing the map) (example courtesy of E.C.); and as a pre- and post-assessment for her unit on atoms. Medea will be following up with Michele to see how the COSEE tools are helping to achieve her classroom goals. Stay tuned!
Study guide concept map, above right, courtesy of E.C.