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In the Classroom: Resources from Carleton College
UC Certificate for Citizen Scientists
In the Classroom:
Resources from Carleton College
By Randy Adsit
We’ve all been there—you need something to jazz up a lesson, or maybe you just need an entire lesson! So you search online, hoping…
I recommend that you start your search at SERC — the Science Education Resource Center is a grant-funded office at Carleton College (Minnesota) founded to improve education in the Earth Sciences and beyond. By “beyond” they mean they have material for all the earth sciences, plus astronomy, biology, economics, math, political science, philosophy, and more.
Because SERC is grant funded, it could disappear in the future, when the grant runs out. Wouldn’t it be great if the Department of Education recognized the value of something like this, and funded it permanently?
But I digress. The web address for SERC is: <https://serc.carleton.edu>. You can search by topic, place, type of lesson, etc. You can also focus on one of the projects hosted by SERC.
My favorite, by far, is InTeGrate, at <https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/index.html>. The name is short for “Interdisciplinary Teaching About Earth for a Sustainable Future. They are serious about “interdisciplinary,” and have material such as “Women and Water”, “Environmental Justice”, and “Water Sustainability in Cities.” No matter what you teach, there will be something for you in InTeGrate.
For example, if you teach English, they have “Climate Science in Literary Texts.” If you teach health, there are units on lead, healthy food, and composting toilets. There’s even a project for film students to make environmental videos.
The materials on their web site are peer reviewed, so you don’t have to worry about getting things that don’t work in the classroom. And they encourage you to adapt their modules to fit your needs. They have materials for lectures, labs, and online courses.
I have been using SERC, and especially InTeGrate, to develop our new oceanography lab at East. Since I’m not using a textbook, I’ve really depended on these web sites for free, quality material. The InTeGrate labs are usually the ones students like the most.
Do you have a favorite web site for classroom material? Or maybe you have developed a terrific lesson, lab, field trip, demonstration, or whatever, that you’d like to share with your colleagues? Please contact us! We love submissions!