Sea Grant Center for Great Lakes Literacy Shipboard Science Workshop Evaluation
Author: Jennifer Hunnell, Heather A. Triezenberg, Brandon C. Schroeder, and Meaghan J. Gass,
Youth have an important role in current and future Great Lakes stewardship. Educating youth and empowering them to be Great Lakes stewards requires educators to be knowledgeable and confident, and therefore more likely to engage in teaching Great Lakes literacy activities in their classroom, thus contributing to a Great Lakes-literate public. The Shipboard Science Workshop (SSW) for educators is a vessel-based professional learning opportunity aboard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s R/V Lake Guardian. During the week-long SSW, educators learn from professional scientists, Sea Grant staff, and each other about Great Lakes research through the lenses of place-based education (PBE) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The goals of the SSW are to (1) enhance understanding of scientific concepts, processes, or techniques; (2) influence changes in teaching practices, curriculum, or personal behaviors; (3) influence communication and promotion of pro-environmental behaviors with others; and (4) establish communities of practice, including educators, scientists, and SSW coordinators. Herein, we present the findings of a 10-month SSW follow-up survey to evaluate the SSW efficacy from 2016-2019. Overall, the SSW appears to have achieved its goals. We discuss the implications of these results within the PBE framework for shifting educators’ classroom approaches and empowering youth inquiry and leadership on complex Great Lakes issues.
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