DEEPS STEP - Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences’ Science-Teaching and Education Program
is the outreach program of our department that works in partnership with Providence Public Schools’ Department (PPSD) in order to develop and bring Earth Science lessons into local elementary classrooms.
DEEPS STEP is the outreach program of our department that works in partnership with Providence Public Schools’ Department (PPSD) in order to develop and bring Earth Science lessons into local elementary classrooms.
The department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) has been actively involved in science outreach with Providence public schools since early 2000. From 2007-2014, a NSF GK-12 grant (PI:Prof Tim Herbert) supported the work of 9 graduate students involved in science lesson development and teaching in several local public schools. After the grant’s completion, DEEPS graduate student volunteers continued the outreach work at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School.
With the introduction of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Rhode Island schools in 2016 our program was re-designed under the leadership of the program’s coordinator, Olga Prilipko Huber, to focus on the goal of assisting PPSD teachers in their transition to NGSS and the three dimensions of learning.
We develop quarter-long, multi-lesson Earth Science Modules for grades 2-5 that are aligned with grade-specific NGSS and are centered on inquiry-driven science learning. Our volunteers co-teach the Modules with participating teachers in three Providence public schools (Vartan Gregorian, Pleasant View and Martin Luther King). Each year ~30 members of our department (graduate and undergraduate students, postdocs and faculty) get involved in the program.
We strive to make the science lessons engaging, creating a supportive learning environment that encourages both students and teachers to ask questions and experiment as they learn about Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences.