CryoConn 2013: Teachers warm up to winter science
Educators from across Alaska will gather for CryoConn 2013 at Chena Hot Springs to celebrate winter science and gather tools and ideas for teaching students about vital connections between the Earth's cryosphere (the portion of Earth's surface where water is in solid form--snow, ice, permafrost), atmosphere and biosphere. To be held from from February 28 - March 2, CryoConn 2013 will invite 20 teachers statewide to spend three intensely focused days learning from and working alongside world-class scientists. Travel, stipend, and room and board will be provided along with supplies for hands-on classroom investigations. The workshop is sponsored by JEDC's STEM AK program with funding from the NASA SpaceGrant program, and with additional support from the National Defense Education Program.
The workshop includes Apun: The Arctic Snow, celebrating Inupiaq knowledge of snow and ice survival with activities led by author and Arctic scientist Dr. Matthew Sturm. Mary Hakala, STEM AK's Education Coordinator, commented that "Matthew Sturm is an exemplary scientist and wonderful educator who is able to translate the science into meaningful ideas for classroom teachers."
Participant Testimonials from the 2010 Program
"The direct interaction with scientists via lecture and field study was critical to my new understanding of snow and ice. Collaboration with my peers in addition to the new content will make a big impact on my science instruction and student learning. I wish more teachers could have this opportunity to energize their instruction."
--Traci Caves, Anchorage School District
"The CryoConn workshop provided a wealth of information. Even more importantly, it was information that can have a positive effect in my classroom. CryoConn has given me so many ideas for lessons and activities that will not only be engaging to my students, but could potentially provide that spark to make them future scientists."
"The ability to gather usable information and resources while collaborating with other educators was a memorable experience that will only benefit me. For educators to truly change their students' thinking, their own thinking often has to be adjusted. CryoConn opened my eyes to the snow and winter with details that I had not thought of before."
"This is not just another person trying to sell his/her curriculum. This is real science that real teachers can use in their Alaskan classooms."
"I loved this workshop because all of the information and presenters helped me get started teaching a simple concept in a whole new way!"
"The opportunity to explore snow in a science-based approach in a hands-on environment was simply the highlight of a great winter learning escape."
"Excellent organization and administration. Overall content was practical for students of all ages. Knowledgeable presenters delivered interesting information with practical applications for attendees and their students. Thank you so much for the phenomenal experience."
--Jen Ratchye Rinaldi, ASD
"This was a great opportunity to network with educators from across Alaska while learning from Alaskan scientists."
"The content-rich days combined with active experiences made for high-quality professional development. I appreciated being treated as an interested professional educator!"
"CryoConn has connected teachers with very talented scientists, allowed us to learn cutting-edge scientific beliefs, and shown us a path to follow to impart some of this knowledge to our students."
"The hands-on activities were the best! Not only for learning, but to be able to take them back to the classroom is great! I will look at the snow in a totally different way now, thanks to this workshop. Also, everyone was so nice and really helpful. Loved all the pics, too."
Images from the Event