Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2017 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Infusing BES science into Baltimore City Public Schools through the Integrating Chemistry and Earth Science (ICE) project.
Berkowitz, Alan
Co-Authors: Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute, Bess Caplan, Cary Institute, Josh Gabrielse, Baltimore City Public Schools, Jonathan Grooms, George Washington University

Abstract: Every high school student in Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) will learn about how chemistry shapes the local environment through a new unit being developed for the chemistry curriculum. To comply with the Maryland-adopted Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the schools will be required to test all high school students in Earth science, along with biology, chemistry and physics. Since there are virtually no high school Earth science teachers in the district, Earth science is being integrated into courses for the other disciplines. BES scientists and educators are partnering with City Schools educators and education researchers from George Washington University with the support of a new grant from the National Science Foundation for the Integrating Chemistry and Earth science (ICE) project. The unit we are developing will be one of seven new units taught by chemistry teachers beginning this school year. It focuses on local phenomena: weathering and stream chemistry modification, urban form impacts on atmospheric chemistry, and CO2 levels in the local atmosphere and waterbodies. Students will learn from first hand measurements, BES and other local datasets and instructional activities that meet the NGSS expectations of 3-dimensional (3D) learning. 3D learning entails an interweaving of 1) core disciplinary ideas from both Earth science and chemistry, 2) cross-cutting ideas (e.g., systems, matter and energy, stability and change) and 3) science practices (e.g., analyzing and interpreting data, developing and using models, engaging in argument from evidence). Plans for the ICE unit will be described and opportunities and needs for BES contributions will be highlighted.