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Hampton City Schools Partners with NASA eClips and GLOBE


Hampton City Schools teachers and students will literally be changing the world through GLOBE and NASA eClips thanks to the work of HCS teachers and administrators and community partners – educators at the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE) and NASA Langley Research Center.


Global Learning to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is an international education program that provides students and the public the opportunity to help build our understanding of Earth systems and the environment. GLOBE’s mission is “to promote the teaching and learning of science, enhance environmental literacy and stewardship, and promote scientific discovery.” The purpose of implementing GLOBE and NASA eClips resources into the HCS curriculum is to bring engaging and authentic STEM experiences to young students and to leverage natural connections and overlapping processes to integrate science and English Language Arts (ELA). All third grade students (approximately 1,500) will benefit from the implementation this year. Providing an overview of Earth systems during the first nine weeks lays the foundation for science as Virginia 3rd grade curriculum focuses on the Earth systems – biosphere (living systems SOLs 3.4 & 3.5); pedosphere (soil SOL 3.6), hydrosphere (water – SOL 3.7) and atmosphere, pedosphere, and hydrosphere (conservation – SOL 3.8).


On August 30, NASA science directorate educators Angela Rizzi (NASA GLOBE education outreach specialist) and Elizabeth Joyner (NASA senior education specialist) engaged 69 third grade teachers in best practices for integrating the Elementary GLOBE Earth Systems Module resources into their classrooms through an interactive virtual professional development. Teacher participants explored the Elementary GLOBE website, the Earth System Module, the storybook All About Earth: Our World on Stage, and the GLOBE Teacher Implementation Guide. In addition, they were introduced to aligned NASA eClips videos that are linked in the HCS science and ELA curricula. Virginia science and engineering practices and related Standards of Learning are all addressed through use of GLOBE and NASA eClips resources.


Just as their students will do during the first nine weeks, teachers constructed their own Earth system (Earth System in a Bottle) and made personal connections between different Earth systems through the outdoor activity We Are All Connected: Earth System Interactions. Literacy integration strategies were shared with teachers, including how science journals can be used as tools for critical and creative thinking, as well as to improve writing while documenting learning. Teachers will use the storybook All About Earth: Our World on Stage to introduce characterization, new vocabulary, and show students how to support conclusions providing evidence from the text.


Planning for this implementation began in 2019 with Craig Freeman (science teacher specialist); Dr. Kelli Cedo (then ELA curriculum leader); Alisa Innes (ELA teacher specialist); 3rd grade master teachers and curriculum writers Carole Birdsong, Billie Holbrooks, and Erica Butler; and Betsy McAllister (STEM teacher specialist and educator in residence at NIA) meeting with Dr. Sharon Bowers (senior STEM educator at NIA-CISE), Jessica Taylor (NASA science education team lead), and Tina Harte (NASA senior education specialist, team lead). Due to COVID-19, the implementation was delayed until the 2021-2022 academic year when Zandria Butts (science curriculum writer), Dr. Janice Richison (science curriculum leader), Shari Drake (ELA curriculum leader), and Shannon Pohlman (science teacher specialist) joined the team. Third grade teachers will be trained in the spring of 2022 to implement the Elementary GLOBE Soils Module during the fourth nine weeks of the school year. Additional training will take place in the summer of 2022 for interested teachers to learn how their students can collect and submit cloud data to NASA. In subsequent years, teachers in additional grades will be trained in how to implement GLOBE and related NASA eClips learning experiences that align with their SOLs.