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 Tuesday, June 27, 2006 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


CU-Boulder Takes Natural Hazard Workshops To Colorado K-12 Teachers
By Jim Scott, News Services

Professor Ann Sheehan of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and graduate student Heidi Reeg teamed with the CU Science Explorers program in 2005-2006 to bring workshops on natural hazards to middle school teachers and students throughout Colorado.

The workshops were held in 17 different locations in Colorado, including communities on the eastern plains, West Slope, Front Range and San Luis Valley. More than 350 teachers and 1,800 students participated in the workshops according to Sheehan, a CU-Boulder professor in geological sciences.

The CU Science Explorers program, now in its 19th year, is a professional development program for Colorado teachers. In many rural locations where Science Explorers is conducted, it is one of the few opportunities that teachers have to enrich their curriculum with hands-on activities. The science theme for the workshop varies from year to year.

The topic of natural hazards was selected for this year to build upon the enhanced public awareness of this topic after the devastating 2004 tsunami in Sumatra, said Sheehan. The curriculum included tsunamis and earthquakes, wildfires and avalanches.

Sheehan served as science advisor for the Science Explorers program, which involved reviewing the curriculum, providing materials and content from her research and other sources, and training the Science Explorers instructors.

Sheehan also helped obtain funding for the program through the broader impacts portion of two of her National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and through a CU Outreach Council grant written with Science Explorers Director Lannie Hagan. Reeg worked on the hazards curriculum development as part of an NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program under the direction of Lesley Smith from the CIRES Education Outreach Program.

CIRES is a joint institute of CU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more information contact Sheehan at 303-492-4597.


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