NSF Selects EDC to Lead EarthCube Education Workshop

EarthCube logo

On March 4–5 at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Distinguished Scientist Kim Kastens and Senior Research Scientist Ruth Krumhansl, with Cheryl Peach of Scripps, led a workshop that marked several exciting “firsts” for EDC, the geoscience community, and the education field. With first-time funding for EDC from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Kastens, Krumhansl, and Peach engaged 46 diverse participants—geoscientists, geoscience educators, curriculum developers, data providers, employers, and technologists—in discussing the needs of future end-users who will use EarthCube for education. Now in the planning stage, EarthCube (logo shown above) is a national NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure which will give researchers and students easy access to Earth data and models.

“The Geoscience community is really stepping up to the plate to make the data they use accessible to K–12 teachers, high school students, and the public,” Kastens notes. “They want to share their data, reasoning, and tools so that as many people as possible have the data literacy skills they need to help solve 21st century problems related to life on a finite planet. Tackling problems like lack of energy, poor soil, and contaminated water takes buy-in from a very large section of people on this planet. Geoscientists know that education is key to achieving this kind of buy-in, and they’re bending over backwards to make Geoscience information accessible to a wider audience. Ruth and I saw this at the EarthCube workshop—people came to the workshop really dedicated to finding ways to build bridges between professional geoscientists, educators, students, and the public.”

During the workshop, participants shared their input on how to build EarthCube in such a way as to bring the power of learning through Earth data and models within reach of novices.  They also discussed how to use EarthCube to educate future Geoscientists who will be unprecedentedly facile with data and models, and “native speakers” of interdisciplinary systems. Kastens and Krumhansl will be sharing findings from the workshop with the NSF Directorate for Geosciences and with the groups who are designing EarthCube’s cyberinfrastructure.

Last Updated: March 2013