Last updated: 21 August 2014

23-24 April 2009, Corpus Christi, TX
30 April-1 May 2009, Dauphin Island, AL

The meeting report is available as a PDF.

Two workshops for formal and informal educators in the Gulf of Mexico were held. The first, for educators in the western Gulf, was conducted at the Harte Research Institute in Corpus Christi, TX, on April 23-24, 2009. The second was conducted at the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory in Dauphin Island, AL, on April 30-May 1, 2009. These workshops, sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA), had been widely announced for several months and were attended by a variety of educators whose names and affiliations are given in Appendix 1.

The agendas are given in Appendix 2. Topics covered during each workshop were the same. The only difference between workshops was the instructor pool. Worth Nowlin and John O’Connell participated in the Texas workshop, but not the Alabama workshop. Ann Jochens, Sharon Walker, and Lei Hu participated in the Alabama workshop, but not the Texas workshop. All other instructors (Jessica Kastler, Chris Simoniello, Joe Swaykos, and Bob Swett) participated in both. Prior to the beginning of each workshop, a discussion was held among the instructors and the Chair of the workshop steering committee (Simoniello) to discuss workshop objectives, process, and details of the activities and breakout groups.

At 11:00 on April 21 and April 30, participants were issued pre-tests to establish a baseline of knowledge of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and coastal ocean observing systems. At 11:15 Joe Swaykos called the meeting to order. After welcoming the attendees on behalf of the GCOOS-RA Education and Outreach Council (EOC), he had the participants introduce themselves. The GPS units were then issued to participants so the units could acquire satellite signals during the lunch break. Following lunch, Simoniello briefly introduced the objectives and deliverables, emphasizing the GCOOS EOC was seeking information on what data and products educators would like to use, how they can access them, it and how they would need to be packaged and delivered to use with a variety of Education and Outreach (E/O) audiences.

To detail the science behind Global Positioning Systems, Bob Swett described GPS technology, including its military origins and challenges associated with accurate time and ranging measurements. Based on lessons learned from the Texas workshop, Alabama participants completed a hands-on activity to reinforce the importance of accurate measurements (see "Where Am I?" Activity, Appendix 3).

Once participants had some background information, they were instructed in the use of Garmin handheld GPS units. They were shown how to enter way points to mark a location and how to retrieve way points to recover objects (see "Nail Biter" Activity below). Participants worked in teams of four to six people, pre-determined according to the audiences/grade levels taught. Teams arranged by grade level can be found in Appendix 4. Instructions for how to play the "Nail Biter" Activity are provided in Appendix 5. Following the activity, there was discussion concerning how it could be refined for use with different E/O audiences.

Joe Swaykos then presented a variety of applications of GPS technology and made the connection to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Examples ranged from personal use applications to region-wide coastal resiliency examples. Simoniello (and Jochens, in AL) then briefly described the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and its U.S. component the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). She described the Gulf coastal component of the IOOS–the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS)–and the Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) and provided examples concerning how Coastal Ocean Observing System (COOS) data have been used to understand complex oceanographic issues. Prior to convening for the evening, participants completed a daily feedback form.

Participants were invited to dinner hosted by the GCOOS-RA, at the Harte Research Institute in Texas and at the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory cafeteria in Alabama. These dinners proved to be excellent venues for individual discussions, particularly in Alabama where Robert Dixon opened the Dauphin Island Estuarium after hours as a courtesy to the GCOOS workshop participants.

Day two began with breakfast and a call to order by Joe Swaykos. He reviewed the results of the feedback questionnaire from day one, acknowledging the need for more breaks, reviewed activities of day one and discussed the activities for the remainder of the workshop. Activities commenced with a "break-out" session to determine the baseline needs of the participants to implement coastal ocean data into their curricula (see Appendix 6). The first phase of their discussions was a brainstorming session where the participants identified the classroom resources and computer capabilities they have available. The second phase was an identification of tools, products, services, and informational needs the participants identified they could use in their E/O programs, if available.

Jessica Kastler then presented on how to access data via the GCOOS data portal and how to capture images and paste into spreadsheet documents. Participants, working in their groups, were given tasks to complete. Among the tasks were acquiring data and making comparisons about different data sets. The data sets were associated with different tropical storms and anomalous weather events. Following the lunch break, participants continued working on the group tasks. The activity concluded in the afternoon, with the spokesperson for each of the breakout groups sharing interpretations. Discussion about the different interpretations followed.

The final hour of the workshop was spent on the workshop evaluation and post-tests. Likert evaluation results revealed that the most valuable components of the workshop were learning how to use the GCOOS portal to apply data in education programs, learning how to use handheld GPS units, ideas for use with students, and the theory and evolution of GPS technology, gaining knowledge of real-life applications of the data, and networking opportunities with scientists and colleagues (see Appendix 7). There were no significant differences between the pre-test scores of the HRI and DISL exams (average scores 52.4 and 50.0, respectively), or the HRI and DISL post-test scores (average scores 75.2 and 77.5, respectively). There were significant differences (Student’s t-test, p<0.001) between pre- and post-test exam scores at each workshop (see Appendix 8).

To conclude the workshop, the instructors distributed Certificates of Participation. Simoniello noted there would be a follow-up survey in six months to document the manner in which the workshop information was being applied. Appreciation was expressed to the Harte Research Institute and Dauphin Island Sea Lab for hosting the workshops, to the meeting instructors, and to all attendees. The workshops adjourned at 3:00 pm.


 

Appendix 1: Attendees

Name Affiliation
Corpus Christi, TX
Kisha Barnes Flour Bluff High School
Barbara Brown Westbrook Intermediate School
Erik Bullock Stony Point 9th Grade Center
Mary Castor Hitchcock Independent School District
Dawn Chegwidden Lewisville High School
Sandy Cherniss Texas State Aquarium
Sasha Chesnut Marble Falls Middle School
Jamie Copeland Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environment & Marine Science
Johnnie Darnell Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environment & Marine Science
Tina Dellinger Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environment & Marine Science
Handan Derin Harmony Science Academy
Laronna Doggett Coppell High School
Melani Franklin (Flowers) Mayde Creek High School
Suzanne Goetze  
Deanna Grandalen Harmony Science Academy
Tamara Haring Jane Long Elementary
Lari Jo Johnston Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program
Reta Pearson University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Tracey Prothro Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education Center, Baytown Nature Center
Stephen Qualia Carroll High School
Jane Lee-Rhodes Kaffie M.S.
Misti Thueson Spring Branch High School?
Jay Vasquez Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science
Sharlene Walker Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science
Kathryn Westerman W. B. Ray High School
Sharon Wood Marcus High School
John Williams University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Dauphin Island, AL
Amy Baldwin  
Penelope Bishop Department of Environmental Protection
Larry Blanchard New Orleans Public Schools
Susan Bowers Vinyard Elementary School
Jessica Davis Escambia High School
Heather Gordon Egger Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences
Renee Feinman Gibbs High School
Emily Gibson Van R. Butler Elementary
Cathy Holmes Gulf Islands National Seashore, National Park Service
Richard Hunter Brown-Barge Integrated Curriculum Middle School
Susan Hunter Brown-Barge Integrated Curriculum Middle School
Daren Johnson Hale Academy, Ocala, Florida
Jennifer Krantz Gibbs High School
Charlene Mauro Navarre High School
Dinah Maygarden Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences
Tami McConnell Navarre High School
Mark Quinn Bay County Elementary
Bruce Sabin Haines City IB World School
Lisa Simmons Eglin AFB, Jackson Guard Natural Resources
Maureen Simmons Eglin AFB, Jackson Guard Natural Resources
Chris Talmadge Cornerstone School, Ocala, Florida
*Chris Verlinde Florida Sea Grant
Jeff Wooters Pensacola Junior College

* Participated Day 1, not Day 2.


 

Appendix 2: Texas and Alabama Agendas

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System
GPS Workshop for Educators
Harte Research Institute
April 23-24, 2009

AGENDA

Thursday, April 23, 2009
10:30 – 11:00 Participant check-in
11:00 – 11:15 Pre-test administered
11:15 – 11:30 Welcome and meeting objectives (Joe Swaykos)
11:30 – 11:45 Group introductions and distribute GPS units
11:45 – 12:30 Lunch @ Harte Research Institute
12:30 – 12:40 Review agenda and logistics (Chris Simoniello)
12:40 – 1:40 Introduction to GPS Technology (Bob Swett)
1:40 – 3:10 Activity using GPS units (Bob Swett)
3:10 – 3:20 Break
3:20 – 3:40 Reflect on field activity (Bob Swett)
3:40 – 4:20 GPS Applications and Visualizations (Joe Swaykos)
4:20 – 5:00 Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (Chris Simoniello)
5:00 – 5:05 Complete daily feedback form
5:15 – 6:15 Dinner @ Harte Research Institute
 
Friday, April 24, 2009
7:15 – 8:15 Breakfast @ Harte Research Institute
8:15 – 8:30 Review Day 1 activities and morning agenda (Joe Swaykos)
8:30 – 9:00 Small group activity – determine baseline needs to implement information
9:00 – 10:30 Group tasks and computer activities (Jessica Kastler)
10:30 – 10:45 Morning break
10:45 – 11:30 Continue group tasks and computer activities
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch @ Harte Research Institute
12:30 – 1:30 Continue group tasks and computer activities
1:30 – 2:00 GPS technology and hot topics in oceanography: group discussion
2:00 – 2:20 Workshop evaluation
2:20 – 2:40 Post-test
2:40 – 3:00 Award certificates and closing remarks
3:00 Adjourn workshop

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System
GPS Workshop for Educators
Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory
April 30-May 1, 2009

AGENDA

Thursday, April 30, 2009
10:30 – 11:00 Participant check-in
11:00 – 11:15 Pre-test administered
11:15 – 11:30 Welcome and meeting objectives (Joe Swaykos, Sharon Walker)
11:30 – 11:45 Group introductions and distribute GPS units
11:45 – 12:30 Lunch @ Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory cafeteria
12:30 – 12:40 Review agenda and logistics (Chris Simoniello)
12:40 – 1:40 Introduction to GPS Technology (Bob Swett)
1:40 – 3:10 Activity using GPS units (Bob Swett)
3:10 – 3:20 Break
3:20 – 3:40 Reflect on field activity (Bob Swett)
3:40 – 4:20 GPS Applications and Visualizations (Joe Swaykos)
4:20 – 5:00 Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (Ann Jochens, Chris Simoniello)
5:00 – 5:05 Complete daily feedback form
5:15 – 6:15 Dinner @ Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory cafeteria, followed by a tour of the Estuarium at DISL
 
Friday, May 1, 2009
7:15 – 8:15 Breakfast @ Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory cafeteria
8:15 – 8:30 Review Day 1 activities and morning agenda (Joe Swaykos)
8:30 – 9:00 Small group activity – determine baseline needs to implement information
9:00 – 10:30 Group tasks and computer activities (Jessica Kastler)
10:30 – 10:45 Morning break
10:45 – 11:30 Continue group tasks and computer activities
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch @ Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory cafeteria
12:30 – 1:30 Continue group tasks and computer activities
1:30 – 2:00 GPS technology and hot topics in oceanography: group discussion
2:00 – 2:20 Workshop evaluation
2:20 – 2:40 Post-test
2:40 – 3:00 Award certificates and closing remarks
3:00 Adjourn workshop

 


 

Appendix 3: "Where Am I?" Mapping Activity

(Adapted from the Institute of Navigation’s Lesson Plan 8, Navigating at the Speed of Satellites. See http://www.ion.org/satdiv/education/lesson8.pdf for background and supporting information.)

Where am I?

You’ve been dropped off at a mystery spot somewhere in the United States! Your GPS unit has malfunctioned: it gives you distances from the satellites and where the satellites are, but won’t do the calculation to find your position (and today is the one day you left your sextant at home). Fortunately, you have a U.S. map and quickly program the unit to give you the satellite distances relative to your map (nice work!). Time for some old fashioned Triangulation!

Arc Instructions: When you get the distance data from a satellite (see below) have one person in the group measure and mark that distance on your string tied to the paper clip (including the paper clip). The second group member will hold the marked spot on the string to the circled "x" by the correct satellite. Now your paper clip should swing in an arc across your map. Have the third group member insert a pencil into the end of the paper clip and draw the first arc holding the string tight. (Then switch with a partner so they can make the next arc.) Turn on the GPS receiver and let’s get started:

  1. Your receiver has picked up data from Satellite 1. You are approximately 12 cm from Satellite 1. Make an arc using the method above and then list all the States that you may be in (every state the arc crosses).
     
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
     
  2. Ah – you’ve locked onto Satellite 4. It is 15 cm from your position. Make another arc. Which States might you be in now (where do the two arcs cross)? Remember – these distances may be off by 2-3 mm, so if you are near a border you should include both states as possible locations!
     
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
     
  3. Finally – Satellite 2 data! 18 cm away… Do that arc thing again. Why don’t the three arcs cross at exactly the same point?
     
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
     
    What if one of the signals had a large error and was off by 5-6 mm? Which states are still a possibility for your location?
     
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
     
  4. Sometimes it is good to have 4 satellites locked in – you can get a much more accurate position. Satellite 3 pops up: 9 cm. Can you confidently name your location now?
     
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
     

Use the table on the back of this sheet to help locate some friends with the GPS data they have supplied!

Where Are They?
Note: Distances may be off by +/- 0.5 cm to make the triangulation slightly more challenging.

Name Distance to
Satellite 1
(cm)
Distance to
Satellite 2
(cm)
Distance to
Satellite 3
(cm)
Distance to
Satellite 4
(cm)
Which State?
You! 12 18 9 15  
 
George 5 20 13 22  
Patricia 23 15 16 3  
Shawn 12 14 13 15  
 
Isaac 17 9 17 11  
Sarah 21 7 20 11  
Carla 14 15 11 12  
 
Oscar 17 12 14 10  
Olivia 19 11 15 8  
Lin 9 23 9 21  

BONUS CONVERSION: The actual accuracy of typical commercial GPS receivers (with 4 satellites locked) is roughly 5 meters. On the scale of this map, 5 meters is what fraction of a cm? Hint: 5 meters should be equal to a VERY small fraction of a centimeter. Don’t forget to convert km to meters!

ANSWER KEY
Note: Distances may be off by +/- 0.5 cm to make the triangulation slightly more challenging.

Name Distance to
Satellite 1
(cm)
Distance to
Satellite 2
(cm)
Distance to
Satellite 3
(cm)
Distance to
Satellite 4
(cm)
Which State?
You! 12 18 9 15 Colorado
 
George 5 20 13 22 Washington
Patricia 23 15 16 3 Florida
Shawn 12 14 13 15 South Dakota
 
Isaac 17 9 17 11 Michigan
Sarah 21 7 20 11 New York
Carla 14 15 11 12 Kansas
 
Oscar 17 12 14 10 Illinois
Olivia 19 11 15 8 Kentucky
Lin 9 23 9 21 California
Add more states (or other specific locations on the map) to the list:
  17 18 8 11 Texas
  17.8 18.1 8.4 9.7 Austin (Texas)

You can have students find any point on the map – just print out a map, measure, and record the distances ahead of time.

NOTE: This map is not the same scale as used for the exercise. Download the lesson and print the map (page 10).


 

Appendix 4: Workshop Group Assignments

HRI Group Assignments (April 23-24, 2009)

Elementary School / Public E/O Middle School / Nature centers High School High School
Mary Castor Barbara Brown Tina Dellinger Kisha Barnes
Sasha Chestnut Sandy Cherniss Melani Franklin (Flowers) Erik Bullock
Greg Corradino Jamie Copeland Stephen Qualia Dawn Chegwidden
Handan Derin Johnnie Darnell Misti Theuson Laronna Doggett
Deanna Grandalen Lari Jo Johnston Jay Vasquez Suzanne Goetze
Tamara Haring Tracey Prothro Sharlene Walker Holly Hubenak
Reta Pearson Jane Lee-Rhodes Kathryn Westerman Sharon Wood
John Williams      

 

DISL Group Assignments (April 30 – May 1, 2009)

Elementary School / Public E/O Middle School / Nature centers High School / Public E/O High School
Susan Bowers Cathy Holmes Kathleen Barnes Jessica Davis
Emily Gibson Richard Hunter Larry Blanchard Renee Feinman
Mark Quinn Susan Hunter Heather Gordon Egger Jennifer Krantz
Lisa Simmons Dinah Maygarden Adam Keim Charlene Mauro
Chris Talmadge Daren Johnson Chris Verlinde Tami McConnell
  Maureen Simmons Jeff Wooters Bruce Sabin

 

Appendix 5: Nail Biter Activity

(Adapted from South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. For supporting informatiton and related activities, see http://www.sdgfp.info/Parks/Recreation/Images/GPS_Activities.pdf.)

"Nail" Biter GPS Trail

This is a zero-prep activity for small or large groups. Two people can play against each other. Twenty people can play as two groups of 10. Most need 40 minutes to complete. You will need:

  • At least 2 hand-held GPS units, one per group.
  • 10 small stakes or nails. Tie a small piece of ribbon to each
  • Instructions for using the GPS if you are not familiar with the unit.

Step-by-step directions to “nail” down this challenge.

  • Divide into two groups. Each group should have the same number of GPS units.
  • Meet at a designated starting point.
  • Turn the GPS on. Make sure the GPS locks on at least 4 satellites.
  • Check your battery level. If it is less than 1/4, change batteries.
  • Review how to MARK and Find or GoTo waypoints.
  • Clear memory in your GPS before beginning.
  • Each group gets 5 stakes.
  • You will have 20 minutes to hide and mark all 5 stakes.
  • First group goes to an area directed by the staff. The second group goes to a separate area (opposite sides of a building works well – out of sight of each other).
  • Each group hides its nails one at a time. Be creative here. Don’t make it too easy! Hide each nail as far apart from the other nails as possible. The ribbons on each nail MUST be visible from 5 feet away, but you can still camouflage them in a bush, or stick it in the crook of a tree, etc.
  • Carefully hold each GPS over the hidden nail and MARK that spot. Be sure to save the marked waypoint for each nail on each GPS!
  • Repeat for all five nails.
  • When you have hidden, MARKed, and saved the location of each nail on each GPS, return to the starting point.
  • The two groups then trade GPS units.
  • Review wih the groups how to FIND or GO TO, SELECT a WAYPOINT, and navigate to that spot. Note: You must "move" before the GPS will give you an accurate direction of travel. START WALKING, THEN LOOK AT THE GPS.
  • Most people like to navigate using the COMPASS page. Press the PAGE or NAV button until you get to this page. Follow the dark arrow on the compass dial and count down the distance. When you get within 15 feet of your destination, start looking around.
  • Each group goes to the area where the other group hid their nails and follows the FIND or GO TO on the GPS to find the hidden nails one at a time.
  • Pick up each nail as the group finds it. (Hint: "Respect our Parks" How about picking up "other" litter as you search for nails?)
  • When all the nails your group can find have been picked up, return to the starting point. Report to the staff how the "nail biting" search went.
  • Turn in your GPS and recovered nails. You are done!

 

Appendix 6: Determine the Feasibility of Using Real-time Data in the Classroom

GCOOS GPS WORKSHOP @ Harte Research Institute

Determine the Feasibility of Using Real-time Data in the Classroom
(questions for Day 2, 8:30 – 9:30 am)

Objective: Determine the classroom computer capabilities of the participants and identify how they plan to use the information in their programs. Identify barriers to accessing real-time information. Identify possible solutions to overcome these barriers.

Participants will work in groups (same as for the geocaching activity).  Allow 20 minutes to brainstorm and record ideas.  Participants will have 10 minutes following the exercise to share answers with the larger group (about 3 minutes per group).

QUESTIONS

How many participants currently use computers with their students/public audiences?
All currently use computers in their education programs.

How many machines are available in your classroom or computer lab?
Answers ranged from zero to enough for each student. Most had between three and six macines in the classroom, plus either computer labs or COWs (Computers on Wheels) that move from room to room. One teacher has a computer with projector, one has wireless access in the classroom, and one has a Smartboard.

How current are the machines/software you are using?
All but one said the software is fairly current (2008 or better). One does not have internet access.

How do you plan to use the information from this workshop?

  • Basis for creating integrated curriculum
    • Aquatic Sciences curriculum
    • Summer environmental programs – Wetland Warriors
    • HABs and invasive species curriculum linked to GIS maps
    • Field trip activities
    • Set up time series measurements of dune and beach erosion
    • Bring technology to mini-courses
    • Marine careers lessons to expose students to what scientists do
    • Use the lesson plans that were identified
  • Present to other teachers (CAST, Science TEKS)
  • Unsure – need more information
  • Integrating with Mathematics
    • Individual and group work that incorporates graphing
    • Reinforce understanding of metric units with geocaching – e.g., during nature tours
  • Teach lessons about tides
  • Project-based learning
  • Data analysis of real-life applications
    • Predicting manatee migrations based on water temperature
    • Sea turtle tracking and marking nest sites with GPS
    • Determine how much time the ferry (vs. driving) saves
  • Teach how to search for web-based data
  • Teacher research to find background and supporting information to clarify topics
  • Basis for seeking grant money to purchase GPS units for program

What are the barriers you have to accessing information in the classroom?

  • Computer issues
    • Limited access to computer labs
    • Website malfunctions or server problems
      • Not addressed in a timely manner
    • Slow browsers
    • Too many filters blocking access
    • Need the correct software to implement applications
    • Need permissions to download programs – often lack of communication between teachers and those providing technical support
  • Restricted curriculum
    • From the district
    • From peers – many teachers do not wish to incorporate new technologies
  • Lack of time to explore programs and identify data sets
  • Technology training needed
    • Lack of confidence to use and manipulate data
    • Lack of understanding of equipment capabilities
    • Lack of knowledge to know where to find relevant information and how to use it
  • Funding
    • More training programs (like the GPS workshop) are needed
    • Need to know where to look for funding to purchase equipment like GPS units

What are some possible solutions?

  • Computer issues
    • Provide support for material on the web
    • Build a communication network so school technical staff can support teacher needs
    • Have schools investigate open consortium/open source options
    • Develop packaged lesson plans that can be modified (e.g., .doc vs .pdf)
    • Have printed copies of lessons
  • Create a GIS/GPS certificate for students who complete basic training
    • Explore the option of borrowing GPS units from GSA
  • Advocate for your own program at school and district levels
    • Explain the value and importance of technology
  • Identify grant opportunities
    • Use ‘no child left inside’ legislation to obtain funds for GPS units and other technology that links to outdoor activities
    • Identify private sponsorships
    • Collaborate with other educations – GCOOS, COSEE NOW as resources to link people and programs
  • Follow-up in a few months once we’ve had a chance to incorporate information

GCOOS GPS WORKSHOP @ Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory

Determine the Feasibility of Using Real-time Data in the Classroom
(questions for Day 2, 8:30 – 9:30 am)

Objective: Determine the classroom computer capabilities of the participants and identify how they plan to use the information in their programs. Identify barriers to accessing real-time information. Identify possible solutions to overcome these barriers.

Participants will work in groups (same as for the geocaching activity).  Allow 20 minutes to brainstorm and record ideas.  Participants will have 10 minutes following the exercise to share answers with the larger group (about 3 minutes per group).

QUESTIONS

How many participants currently use computers with their students/public audiences?
17 of 22 currently use computers in their education programs.

How many machines are available in your classroom or computer lab?
Answers ranged from five to 20 in the classroom. All have enough for students in computer labs. However, most do not have free access to the computer lab – there is significant competition for time on the machines.

How current are the machines/software you are using?
All said the software is current. The most dated system is MS 2003.

How do you plan to use the information from this workshop?

  • Basis for creating integrated curriculum
  • Integrating with Mathematics
    • Individual and group work that incorporates graphing
    • Reinforce understanding of metric units with geocaching – e.g., during nature tours
  • Teach lessons about tides
  • Project-based learning
  • Data analysis of real-life applications
    • Predicting manatee migrations based on water temperature
    • Sea turtle tracking and marking nest sites with GPS
    • Determine how much time the ferry (vs. driving) saves
  • Teach how to search for web-based data
  • Teacher research to find background and supporting information to clarify topics
  • Basis for seeking grant money to purchase GPS units for program

What are the barriers you have to accessing information in the classroom?

  • Computer issues
    • Limited access to computer labs
    • Website malfunctions or server problems
    • Too many filters blocking access
    • Need the correct software to implement applications
    • Ease of downloading data and ability to import into spreadsheets (e.g., Excel)
    • Files often need to be saved into .txt delimited files and converted
  • Technology training needed
    • Lack of confidence to use and manipulate data
    • Lack of understanding of equipment capabilities
    • Lack of knowledge to know where to find relevant information and how to use it
  • Funding
    • More training programs (like the GPS workshop) are needed
    • Need to know where to look for funding to purchase equipment like GPS units

What are some possible solutions?

  • Computer issues
    • Make large data sets available in "canned" format – e.g., on a disk
    • Have paper back-up of screen shots or in overhead format
    • Use a school drop server
    • Make data available in Excel
    • Develop packaged lesson plans that can be modified (e.g., .doc vs .pdf)
      • Create an online ‘curriculum book’ with many lessons (e.g., see the NOAA Ocean Explorer curriculum or LTER Hubbard Brook and Northern Temperate Lakes websites)
  • Technology training
    • Seek funds for ‘train-the-trainer’ programs so more people can be reached
    • Offer more opportunities like the GCOOS GPS workshop
  • Funding
    • Write grants – e.g., partner with GCOOS and Sea Grant
    • Do fundraising to purchase computers for education, software, GPS units

 

Appendix 7: Workshop Evaluation

GPS Workshop for Educators
Workshop Evaluation Results

Please circle one:      Harte Research Institute            Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory

Name (optional)   _______________________________       Date:  24 April 2009

Thank you for participating in the GCOOS GPS Workshop for Educators. We appreciate your feedback.

CONCEPT AND ACTIVITY EVALUATION (PLEASE CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX).

PRESENTATION/INSTRUCTOR Very
Valuable
Valuable Average
Value
Limited
Value
Very Little
Value
Scientists’ Presentations Overall 20 3      
Jessica Kastler 19 5      
Worth Nowlin 19 1      
Chris Simoniello 21 3      
Joe Swaykos 19 5      
Bob Swett 20 4      
John O’Connell (added by participant) 1        
Introduction to GPS Technology / B. Swett 16 8 1    
Applications Using GPS Technology / J. Swaykos 21 3 1    
Coastal Ocean Observing System / C. Simoniello 21 4      
Applying Information in the Classroom / J. Kastler 20 4 1    
 
Activities Very
Valuable
Valuable Average
Value
Limited
Value
Very Little
Value
Geocaching / B. Swett 19 5      
Finding Near-Real-Time Data on the WWW / B. Swett 16 8      
Lesson Plan Development / J. Kastler 16 8 1    
Hot Topics in Ocean Sciences: Refining Model Resolution with GPS Technology / All Instructors 17 8      
 
Other Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion
The Workshop content was appropriate and informative. 20 5      
I learned about ocean observation products and services and how these can be incorporated into my curriculum. 16 9      
The GCOOS GPS Workshop was a good use of my time. 20 5      

How did you hear about the Workshop

  • GCOOS flyer
  • Through CCISD
  • Environmental listserv (not specified)
  • Texas State Aquarium listserv
  • NOAA website link
  • District science coordinator
  • FGB-NMS Scuttlebutt
  • Texas Marine Educators Association
  • NSTA

On what topics would you have liked more information?

  • Lesson plan development
  • GPS/GIS
    • Applications-related to aquatic sciences
    • GIS layering
    • More hands-on GPS use
    • Tracking species with GPS technology
  • Details on Google Earth
  • Information on how to create data tables
  • Dead zones
  • Ocean science content

What type of workshops would you like to see offered in the future?

  • Workshop dedicated to lesson plan development using data
    • Create and test teacher-designed lesson plans
    • Same workshop – with more time to explore data portal
    • Location-specific examples of GIS data applications for lessons
  • Anything with ocean science content
    • Current research/issues
    • Any that relates to the Gulf of Mexico-specific topics, e.g., Dead Zones
  • GIS applications
    • How to use GPS in the field and extend into GIS, e.g., to study erosion
    • Same workshop, more time on advanced applications
    • GIS applications related to HABs
  • One dedicated to boaters – how to find and interpret information
  • Entire workshop with GPS activities
  • Field-based workshop – river, bay, or coastal activities using GPS

Was there adequate time for each activity?       23 Yes    1 No
If you were of the opinion there was inadequate time, please explain. (Use additional paper if necessary.)
Two replied ‘yes’ but …
Needed more time to lear about available features of the GPS units
Would have liked more time to learn how to create maps of GIS layers

One replied “no”
Too many topics and too little time

How do you plan on using your enhanced oceanographic knowledge and activities in your curriculum?
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

  • Teach other teachers
  • Tracking purposes
    • Storms
    • Dead Zones
    • Marine life
  • Enhanced oceanographic knowledge
    • Use to develop GPS/GIS component to grant program for MS/HS students
    • Better foundation for school-wide implementation of programs (6-12 magnet)
    • Improve understanding of concepts for ecology lessons
    • Use the Oceans textbook resource which is great
  • Incorporate activities into summer camps, field trips, and environmental programs
    • GPS during Laguna Madre field trips 2x/month
    • Use RTD in science workshops for the public
    • Incorporate activities into field trips at Delta
    • Use to develop field-based activities for students at environmental center
  • Not sure but will incorporate into lessons
  • Lesson development
    • Create Aquatic Sciences curriculum using information
    • Use archived and RTD to make inferences about the Gulf of Mexico or other areas
    • Retrieve information from the GCOOS data portal for graphing and other purposes
    • Have students pursue data inquiry topics for the science fair
    • Use data investigations during natural catastrophes unit – especially resilience
    • Incorporate a more inclusive research piece to aquatics and biology classes using RTD
    • Students will research and analyze different data sets they access via the GCOOS portal
      • Have students analyze what happens to dissolved oxygen, temperature and salinity during storms
    • Incorporate into many areas of chemistry – periodic table, solutions, viscosity, density, pH
    • Use RTD to teach about ecosystems
    • Add GPS to an existing lesson involving beach profiling
    • Use RTD to support TEKS content on tides and lunar cycle

In your opinion what are the three most valuable components of this course?
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

  • GPS experience – learning how it works and applying the knowledge with the practical experience
  • Learning about web resources, particularly the GCOOS data portal
  • Networking opportunities with colleagues and new contacts
  • Explanation of satellites and observation systems
  • Group tasks and hands-on activities
  • Learning how to download data and save it
  • GPS applications/Marine applications/oceanography presentations
  • New ideas on how to use the information in the classroom
  • Interaction with top notch presenters
  • The variety of topics discussed
  • GPS tracking of turtles
  • Learning about the relationship between GPS and GIS
  • All of the resources provided

What single suggestion would you make to improve this Workshop?
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

  • Six replied ‘nothing, it was great’
  • More hands-on/field work; less on the computers
    • More examples of GPS activities
  • More time to investigate sites, data and develop lesson plans
  • Limite the range in audience to better serve individual needs
  • Work through one of the computer assignments as a group
    • Use an already-prepared lesson and evaluate its aspects
  • Less "meat" – a little too technical
  • Add another day to practice some of the activities
  • Time at sea – provide a boat experiences
  • More breaks – time to digest – chances to clarify/ask questions

What support can the GCOOS program provide following the workshop to help you incorporate the information you learned into your curriculum?

  • Use the GCOOS E/O portion of the website as a resource
    • Establish a network of schools that incorporate GPS/GIS into curriculum
    • Provide a resource page that lists (and links to) useful websites
    • Provide contacts and education links on the portal
    • Continue communication/offer additional workshops
    • Share PowerPoint presentation from the workshop
    • Provide links to specific "odd" data sets to teach specific topics (e.g., hypoxia)
  • Email a list with updates as new information is made available on the GCOOS website
  • Be available for questions and guidance
  • It was supported very well already

Additional comments:
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

Fabulous workshop – I hope you can offer more and that I can come again
Great contact with presenters
Very well done
Would like contact information for other attendees
Thank you – really enjoyed this and it gives us some great ideas


Please circle one:      Harte Research Institute            Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory

Name (optional)   _______________________________       Date:  1 May 2009

Thank you for participating in the GCOOS GPS Workshop for Educators. We appreciate your feedback.

CONCEPT AND ACTIVITY EVALUATION (PLEASE CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX).

PRESENTATION/INSTRUCTOR Very
Valuable
Valuable Average
Value
Limited
Value
Very Little
Value
Scientists’ Presentations Overall          
Ann Jochens 13 6 3    
Jessica Kastler 16 5 1    
Chris Simoniello 18 4      
Joe Swaykos 15 7      
Bob Swett 15 7      
Sharon Walker (note: one person did not rate) 14 6 1    
           
Introduction to GPS Technology / B. Swett 14 6      
Applications Using GPS Technology / J. Swaykos 17 3      
Coastal Ocean Observing System / C. Simoniello & A. Jochens 16 3 1    
Applying Information in the Classroom / J. Kastler 13 5 1 1  
(Two people did not rate these talks)
Activities Very
Valuable
Valuable Average
Value
Limited
Value
Very Little
Value
Geocaching / B. Swett 16 6      
Finding Near-Real-Time Data on the WWW / B. Swett 14 6 1    
Lesson Plan Development / J. Kastler 14 5 2 1  
 
Other Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion
The Workshop content was appropriate and informative. 18 4      
I learned about ocean observation products and services and how these can be incorporated into my curriculum. 15 7      
The GCOOS GPS Workshop was a good use of my time. 18 4      

How did you hear about the Workshop?

Sixteen participants learned of the worksop via Florida Sea Grant and Florida Aquairum listservs. An additional six people heard about it via email, but are not sure of the source of the email.

On what topics would you have liked more information?

  • Applying marine data in the classroom
  • Exploring more data sites
  • Ocean observing monitoring systems
  • Current research topics
  • More ideas on how to use GIS layers
  • More hands-on activities
  • More time using the GPS units
  • Lesson plan development
  • One wrote that the topics covered were just right.

What type of workshops would you like to see offered in the future?

  • Same workshop with…
    • More time for lesson plan development
    • More hands-on activities
    • An additional day
    • More refined geographic region in order to localize data sets
  • Advanced GIS applications – how to create map layers
    • 3-4 day workshop on creating map layers using ocean data
  • Workshops that partner educators with scientists
  • Weather and ocean relationships
  • Harmful Algal Blooms, Phytoplankton, and Dead Zone monitoring
  • Workshop that identifies opportunities for marine science students to participate
  • Train-the-trainer program for accessing and using information from the GCOOS data portal
  • Workshop dedicated to real-life data applications
    • Symposium on ocean and coastal research

Was there adequate time for each activity?       11 Yes   11 No
If you were of the opinion there was inadequate time, please explain. (Use additional paper if necessary.)

Six of the eleven who replied yes provided additional comments:
More computer time needed
Too much talk during application activity – should have been able to follow along while on the computer
Lost interest during the computer session
Difficulty accessing data

Eleven said no
Needed more time to digest information
More time using the GPS units
Activities were too rushed due to speakers who didn’t heed time constraints

How do you plan on using your enhanced oceanographic knowledge and activities in your curriculum?
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

  • Create an integrated curriculum
  • Use GPS activities to link ocean, environment, and flight units
  • Incorporate research ideas
  • Sea turtle tracking/tracking of other animals
  • GPS activities for hands-on learning
  • Have the students access real-time data and incorporate into lessons
  • Not sure

In your opinion what are the three most valuable components of this course?
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

  • Learning how to use the GCOOS data portal
  • Learning how GPS works and ideas for use with students
  • Understanding ocean data collection methods
  • Learning how data have been used in real-life applications
  • Learning how to apply data in education programs
  • Learning how to interpret data
  • Hands-on exercises
  • Water quality information
  • The opportunity to interact with scientists that have experience using data
  • Networking opportunities

What single suggestion would you make to improve this Workshop?
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

  • Make it longer
    • More time using the GPS units
    • More time doing data-related activities
  • Arrange work groups differently
    • Mix elementary, middle and high school teachers
    • More information related to K-5 curricula
    • Conduct grade-specific workshops
  • Do more activities that require moving (like the geocaching exercise)
  • More comfortable facility
    • Better sleeping quarters
    • More computer access
    • Wireless access so we can use our own computers
  • Provide a CD of all workshop-related resources, activities, and presentations
  • Day two, afternoon graphing activity was too long – after a while, it was not informative
  • Time would be better spent finding relevant data sources and working through lessons

What support can the GCOOS program provide following the workshop to help you incorporate the information you learned into your curriculum?

  • Website updates announced via email
  • Information on available training programs and volunteer opportunities
  • Access to PowerPoint presentations and activities from the workshop
  • Grant money to purchase GPS units
  • Copies of lesson plans – emphasizing integrated content
  • Newletter with tips and ideas on how to incorporate data into curricula
  • Resource guide of useful websites with available data via the GCOOS portal (note: a resource list of real-time data for educators, compiled by COSEE NOW, was sent to participants post-workshop)
  • Support via email

Additional comments:
(Use additional paper if necessary.)

Thank you
Wonderful job
Valuable workshop
Loved the workshop
Great speakers
Awesome networking opportunities
Enjoyable experience
Next time, have wireless access so we can use our own laptops


 

Appendix 8: Pre- and Post-test Results