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Science & Education Majors Gaining Invaluable Experience

Many are familiar with the Discovering the Science of the Environment (DSE) mobile technology trailer that has been bringing educational programming to 4th through 9th grade students in central Indiana for several years. A team of environmental science educators accompany the trailer to lead students in introductory "games" that familiarize the students with subject matter to be further explored. The trailer is equipped with four large computer monitors and touch screen controllers on which the students work through self guided activities to learn more about their environment from an aerial perspective. Then the students experience field work conducted on their school grounds by collecting and analyzing data.

The DSE Mobile Technology Trailer

In the past, the team of educators consisted of an educational specialist and geology graduate students. For the past two trailer seasons, a team of undergraduate interns have been participating in the DSE programming. Education and Science majors come together to lead the elementary and middle school students through the activities. The interns, majoring in a variety of scientific disciplines, are exercising their ability to explain what they are learning in the classroom, and gaining confidence in relaying scientific information to the public.  The interns majoring in education are gaining valuable hours working directly with students, even before they have the opportunity during their degree program. Additionally, they have an increased opportunity to learn a solid foundation in scientific concepts, which will one day translate to a certified teacher better prepared to teach science.

DSE interns (from left to right): Zachary Pringle, Nick Jenshak, Nick Powell, Hannah Carter, Elizabeth Johnson (CEES Education Outreach Coordinator), Jacob Burch, and Doaris Medina

Eight different schools have experienced the new structure of the DSE programming, and all have given very positive feedback. A dozen undergraduate students have or currently are participating with enthusiasm and dedication to gaining a valuable experience.

DSE interns, Kenzie Whitener and Doaris Medina in the field!

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