3M Grant Sponsors Austin Teachers to Learn About Air Quality at St. Edward’s: 3 – 5 August 2016

Thanks to a generous grant from 3M, 20 Austin area teachers will have the chance to attend a 3-day workshop at St. Edward’s, to be held 3 – 5 August on campus.  During the workshop, which will be held in conjunction with the Austin Area STEM Conference, teachers will learn to use data from our new air quality and meteorological instruments, to explore the impact of ozone on plant health using our ozone garden, and to watch the dynamic nature of weather over Austin using our sky cameras.

In particular, the workshop has the following objectives:

  • Increase knowledge about and confidence in teaching about air quality issues among Austin-area STEM middle and high school teachers.
  • Create 20 units of lesson plans (3 lesson plans each) for Austin-area high school teachers.
  • Teachers will learn how to access and download real environmental data from Austin and how to incorporate that data into lesson plans in a variety of subjects.

Each attending teacher will be provided with supplies and a $225 stipend for attending all three days and completing the workshop.  Registration is limited to 20 teachers.

The workshop will meet on the afternoons of August 3 and 4, then all day on August 5.

For more information on the workshop, contact Gary Morris.

To register, visit the AISD STEM Conference website.

Here’s more information on the three organizers:

Dr. Morris joined St. Edward’s in July 2014; he currently serves as Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Professor of Physics. He began his research program on urban air quality in Houston while teaching at Rice University (2000 – 2004). There, he established an ozone measurement program using weather balloons that resulted in more than 500 flights of data since 2004 (the largest such data set within a megacity in the world). In his career, he has worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow, and at Hokkaido University and at the Frontier Research Center for Global Change in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar.

Dr. Bill Quinn has served on the faculty at St. Edward’s since 1983. He has engaged in a wide variety of teaching and research activities during that period, but his primary interests remain in the area of terrestrial ecology and plant photosynthetic pathways. He has worked with students on the main St. Edward’s campus in Austin, at the Wild Basin Creative Research Center, elsewhere in Texas and other states, and overseas. He has served as the President of the Texas Academy of Science and on numerous other boards and committees at St. Edward’s and in Austin.

Dr. Steven Fletcher has served on the faculty at St. Edward’s since 2006 and graduated from the University of Texas with a PhD in Science Education after teaching middle and high school science for 6 years. He has engaged in a wide range of activities to support the teaching of math and science at middle and secondary schools, directing the Texas STEM Teaching Circle of area teachers (which meets monthly during the academic year). He has also been the Principal Investigator on two National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grants to develop the next generation of math and science teachers. He previously directed the 3M-funded Project Sustain.

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