Phenomenal Science is a grant-funded project run by the Shasta County Office of Education and funded through the California Regional Environmental Education Community, a program of the California Department of Education. The project invited both environmental educators and science teachers to collaborate around the topic of science education and how it applies to field trips. The project began in spring of 2018 and will run until fall of 2019.
In addition to enhancing the knowledge of these regional leaders, the project will produce materials and mechanisms for other regions to duplicate this work, such as recruitment, schedules, presentations, lessons, and logistics. Phenomenal Science offers a model for rural regions with populations spread over large geographic areas. We recognize the each region will have different needs so the process has built-in flexibility.
Rationale & Goals
• Increase participant knowledge of NGSS, phenomenon, and productive student discourse.
• Increase quality and quantity of outdoor educational experiences.
• Connect teachers, park rangers, docents, and others in a community supporting science and nature.
• Experience inspiring natural areas in Northern California.
• May 22, 2018 Provider Meeting, Whiskeytown Environmental School. The 9 providers, including two grant leaders, met to share about their current field tri and science education practices at their sites and to learn more about NGSS and the Phenomenal Science grant.
• July 24th & 25th, 2018: Two-day conference with 40 participants at the SCOE Professional Development Center and at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Topics: NGSS, phenomena, productive student discourse, field trips, and creating a shared vision for effective outdoor lessons.
• Three 1-day Professional Learning Community opportunities (remote video connections through Zoom): 10/3/18; 1/23/19; 4/24/19. All teachers and providers will be involved. Day 1: Focus on lessons utilizing phenomenon and discourse. Day 2: Focus on quality field trip opportunities in the region. Day 3: Focus on advancing deeper into NGSS (Science practices, cross-cutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas) and how they connect to phenomenon and discourse.
• July 30 & 31, 2019: Two-day conference with all participants. Location (TBD) will be in one or two inspiring locations. Topics are expected to provide more depth about NGSS but also to address topics identified through the Zoom days.