Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2017 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Comp Hydro Baltimore -An Innovative Approach to Addressing Surface Water System Learning in Baltimore
Caplan, Bess
Co-Authors: Ms. Bess Caplan, Dr. Alan R. Berkowitz

Abstract: Understanding water is central to understanding environmental challenges. Scientists use ‘big data’ and computational models to develop knowledge about the structure and function of complex systems, and to make predictions about changes in climate, weather, hydrology, and ecology. Large environmental systems-related data sets are difficult for high school teachers and students to access and make sense of. Comp Hydro, a collaboration across four states and multiple school districts, integrates scientific and computational knowledge and practices in water systems instruction to enhance development of scientific model-based reasoning, through curriculum, assessment and teacher professional development. Comp Hydro addresses the need for 1) teaching materials for using data, 2) building teachers’ and students’ comfort or familiarity with data analysis and modeling, and 3) infusing the computational knowledge and practices necessary to model and visualize hydrologic processes into instruction. Baltimore, MD is one of four sites in the Comp Hydro project investigating approaches to teaching about water systems. We situate learning in the context of surface water and flooding in Baltimore. This presentation will discuss results and observations from the first full year of classroom implementation highlighting students’ knowledge gains, teacher feedback and plans for revision and dissemination.