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Tavia Prouhet,
NSF Graduate Fellow

NSF GK-12 Project: Texas A&M University
Advancing Geospatial Skills in Science and Social Science
URL: http://agsss.tamu.edu

Thesis Title: An Expedition to the Sea Floor: Using Google Earth to Explore Sea Floor Spreading
College/University: Texas A&M University

Research Advisor: Robert Bednarz

Degree Sought
Masters of Geoscience

University Department and/or Lab

Research Focus
The focus of my research has been to use geospatial technologies to enhance middle school science curricula.

Description of Research
When I was a middle school teacher, my first impression of Google Earth was that it would immediately capture my studentsí attention, but the difficulty would be to determine how it would fit with the curriculum. Inspired by the potential of such technology as educational tool, I decided to pursue a Master of Geosciences. My research project will investigate the effects of visualization tools like Google Earth on middle school science studentsí achievement and attitudes toward science. The data for the project uses Deep Sea Drilling Project transect on the Leg 3 expedition that authenticated to the scientific community the phenomena of sea-floor spreading in 1968.

Example of how my research is integrated into my GK-12 experience
Through participation in the AGSSS Fellowship, I have been able to observe techniques of a variety of classroom uses of geospatial technologies. My graduate research has focused on learning theory related to the creation and implementation of authentic science supported by geospatial technologies. As an AGSSS Fellow, I have been able to write/modify several lessons that use this methodology. Additionally, Fellows are present during classroom implementation, and are then able to modify curricula to meet the needs of the teachers and students. This iterative process has been helpful to me. Through this process, I have gained a better understanding of the teaching/learning process. Furthermore, as a Fellow it has been rewarding to meet the needs of classroom teachers in new and innovative ways.

Profile date: July 2007
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