6 Degrees of Influence: Understanding the Interconnectedness of Earth Systems

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 to Thursday, January 31, 2019
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Planetarium and Science on a Sphere
Middle School Children (11-13) | Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals
Geoscience and geography
Nurture Nature Center, Maryland Science Center, Lehigh University
Description or Abstract: 

Nurture Nature Center (NNC) will use NASA datasets, experts, and analysis tools in the development of NOAA Science on a Sphere (SOS) show and related programming for middle school students, teachers, and minority undergraduates. To address the substantiated educational challenge of personally connecting students to earth sciences, NNC will develop relevancy through a "6 Degrees of Influence" approach to cultivate urgency and interest in STEM learning about global issues as presented through NASA data. Using a carefully scripted SOS program that develops systems thinking and connections between global and local issues, combined with arts-based approaches to help participants visualize and physically diagram their connections to global issues, this project will tie the impacts from global issues to local students and teachers. Activities in this institutional engagement project will include: 1) an SOS program with an associated arts-based communication workshop; 2) an undergraduate internship program that includes research related to interconnections of earth science; and 3) educator workshops - content training for teachers.

Partners include: Maryland Science Center of Baltimore, MD, Lehigh University of Bethlehem, PA, Morgan State University of Baltimore, MD and the outside evaluation firm, People Places & Design Research.

Expected outcomes include: develop evidence to support personal relevancy as tool in science education, and to support the efficacy of arts-based exercises with SOS programs; use of arts-based SOS program at multiple sites; an innovative educator workshop model; and developed and deepened relationships among project partners and NASA.

Funding Program: 
Award Number: 
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Team Members

Kathryn SemmensKathryn SemmensPrincipal Investigator
Rachel CarrRachel CarrCo-Principal Investigator
Jim O'LearyCo-Principal Investigator
Joan RamageJoan RamageCo-Principal Investigator

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