“Facilitating State Standards: Earth Science” (GED 7201)


St. Thomas Aquinas College

“GED 7201: Facilitating State Standards: Earth Science”
(An LDEO E2C Teacher Institute)


Dr. Michael J Passow                                                                Fall 2017: 6 Saturdays,  9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Lamont Campus of Columbia University, 61 Rt. 9W, Palisades, NY


Course Description

This program is offered in conjunction with the Earth2Class Workshops at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (https://earth2class.org/site/).  Mornings will focus on cutting-edge research into a variety of important questions, followed by networking with the scientists and colleagues. Afternoons will provide opportunities to explore strategies to develop and implement State and NGSS-aligned lessons for participant curricula. Teachers will also practice skills for peer reflection and shared professional growth. They will have  opportunities to develop additional skills in the constructivist approach and scientific inquiry compatible with Middle School and Physical Setting/Earth Science curricula units in geology, weather and climate, and oceanography.

Physical Setting/Earth Science Core Curriculum Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7.
Frameworks for K-12 Science and NGSS Connections: Disciplinary Core Ideas ESS1, 2, and 3; Crosscutting Concepts, Science & Engineering Practices, Nature of Science


Dates and Topics:

Sep 16  Brendan Buckley: Southeast Asia Tree Rings and Hydroclimate: Recent Development and Future Prospects”
GED 7201 focus: Overview of NGSS and State Standards; Earth materials, especially minerals, rocks, and resources     pdf format     Word format

Oct  7   Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Open House (10 am – 3 pm)
GED 7201 focus: Exploring the range of scientific research at LDEO with the goal of identifying connections to pertinent curriculum goals

Oct 14   Jerry McManus: “The Ocean and Atmospheric CO2”
GED 7201 focus: Ocean-Atmosphere-Lithosphere-Biosphere Interactions    pdf format          Word format

Oct 28:  Integrating the NGSS and State Standards into Your Curriculum Plans (9 am – 1 pm)

Nov 18  Maureen Raymo (Bruce C Heezen Research Professor), Nichole Anest (Curator), Clara Chang, Ashley Braunthal:
“Climate Change and What You Can Do about It” plus “Using LDEO Core Repository Resources in Your Classroom”
GED 7201 focus: Weather and Climate

Dec 9   Lex Van Geen: “Opportunities for citizen science in reducing exposure to environmental hazards:
Lead in soil and arsenic in well-water”
GED 7201 focus: Review and participant presentations


Course Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Review readings of important NGSS and PS/ES disciplinary core concepts pertinent middle and high school Earth Science courses
  2. Participate in Fall 2017 Earth2Class Workshops and Lamont Open House in the mornings, following by Curriculum (pedagogical) discussions in the afternoon; special NGSS-focused session 12 Nov.
  3. Examine selected research about research-based experiences to integrate science, technology, and engineering, understand cross-cutting relationships and the Nature of Science.
  4. Deepen their understanding of the role of informal science education experiences within formal curricula.
  5. Analyze selected examples of existing lesson plans and develop additional plans for their own classes.
  6. Craft examples of instructional units incorporating Earth2Class resources and other best practices, and
    share with the class at the final meeting.

Course Format
Instruction will incorporate seminar-, web-, and field-based formats, including visits to laboratories and other assets on the campus of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and nearby NY and NJ.


General session structure:
9:00 – 12:00       Participate in the scheduled Earth2Class Workshop for Teachers
12:00 —  1:00     “Lunch with the Scientist” (networking)
1:00 –  4:00       GED 7201 Curriculum Focus Activities
(Special dates and times:   7 Oct Open House 10:00 – 3:00 pm; 28 Oct 9 am – 1 pm)

Course Requirements

  1. Class attendance and participation

For 3 credits: As this is an intensive program, participants are expected to attend each of the six days and participate in the seminar-style discussions.
For 2 credits: Participants must attend 5 of the 6 sessions.

In case of an emergency requiring absence, the instructor should be notified in advance (phone 201-519-1071 or e-mail michael@earth2class.org) so alternative plans can be arranged.

  1. Each participant will be required to create a lesson plan suitable for teaching about one component of an Earth Science course in her/his school setting. Guidelines for the exact format may vary, depending on requirements of different Districts, but must be approved in advance with the instructor. The lesson plan must be submitted electronically before the final date, in a file suitable for addition to the resources available on the Earth2Class website (earth2class.org). These will be shared in the final class session.
  2. As part of the process of developing lesson plans, participants will interact with one or more partners to exchange ideas for what to include, how to structure the approach effectively, ways to improve the directions and incorporate instructional resources, etc.
  3. Each participant must submit a1 – 2 pp. “reflection paper” for each E2C Workshop and the Open House. This should describe how her/his own understanding about research and teaching changed and/or expanded as a result of information presented in the Scientist’s talk and curriculum focus for each session. These should include planned strategies to implement the pertinent Framework, NGSS, and State Standards more effectively in units of courses taught in the home school.

Course Resources

Print and web-based  resources will be provided in conjunction with each session’s activities through the Earth2Class website http://earth2class.org/site/. These will be supplemented through the Educational Resources pages  http://earth2class.org/site/?page_id=2942.

St, Thomas Aquinas College Policy Statements

Academic Integrity Statement

Academic integrity, a commitment to honesty, fairness, respect, and responsibility, is the foundation of the learning process.  All members of the St. Thomas Aquinas College community are held to the highest standards of academic honesty.  While we recognize the participatory nature of education, we take academic integrity very seriously, and the College policy on academic dishonesty details consequences that may include dismissal from the College.  That policy may be found in both the Student Handbook and the College Catalog.


As a student in this class, you must demonstrate your commitment to academic integrity by submitting work which originates in your own imagination, analytical faculties, or your own knowledge; which you have done yourself; and which represents your very best efforts.  When appropriate to the assignment, your work should be supplemented and/or supported by appropriate outside sources; however, you must always ensure that these sources are properly cited using the documentation system required by your professor.


Electronic Use Policy

Faculty members at St. Thomas Aquinas College have the discretion to regulate the use of electronic devices in their classes, and students should not use such devices without the expressed permission of the professor.  This policy covers cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, or any other device the use of which might constitute a distraction to the professor or to the other students in the class, as determined by the professor.  Students with documented disabilities should discuss the use of laptops and/or other electronic devices with their professor at the beginning of the semester.

When a professor designates a time during which electronic devices may be used, they are only to be used at the discretion of the faculty member and in accordance with the mission of the college.  Professors may develop specific and reasonable penalties to deal with violations of these general policies.  For more extreme cases of classroom disruption, refer to the College’s Disruptive Student Policy.


Academic Disability Statement

In accordance with State and Federal law, the College provides appropriate auxiliary aids and services, as well as reasonable accommodations, to students with documented disabilities who request them.  Before the end of the first week of class, such students should notify the instructor of the aids, services and/or accommodations needed.


Title IX Policy

Students should be aware that faculty members are required to report certain information to the STAC’s Title IX Officer.  If you inform me about, or I witness, sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, or any gender-based discrimination, I will keep the information as private as I can, but I am required to bring it to the attention of STAC’s Title IX Officer.


Students should also be aware that disclosing such experiences in course assignments does NOT put the College on notice and will NOT begin the process of STAC providing assistance or response to those experiences.  If you would like to talk to the Title IX Officer directly, you can contact the Director of Human Resources, Ms. Maria Coupe at mcoupe@stac.edu or call 845-398-4044.  Additionally, you also may report incidents or complaints to campus security 845-398-4080.  You can find more information at www.stac.edu/titleix.


If you would like to report a private concern to a confidential counseling resource, you may contact the following people on a confidential basis:


Ms. Eileen Mastrovito, RN

Director, Health Services



Dr. Lou Muggeo

Director, Counseling & Psychological Services



Rabbi Daniel Pernick

Campus Minister



The College also has an affiliation with the following organization:


Center for Safety and Change


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