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  • NSF funds pilot program to teach geosciences

     Pernia updated 2 months, 2 weeks ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Japo_Japo

    September 23, 2021 at 7:36 am

    For years, Dr. Katayoun Mobasher watched her fellow geologists retire and fewer enter the field to replace them. Mobasher devised a solution.

    “The goal is to expose high school students to the geosciences,” the professor of geology with the Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis (IESA) said. “That early exposure may encourage students to pursue geosciences as a career.”

    Mobasher and Dr. Adrianna Rajkumar, limited-term faculty member of IESA, developed a proposal and reached out to Dr. Jeff Turk, director of IESA, and Dr. Cristina Washell, department head of Elementary and Special Education in the College of Education for support. The quartet applied for a grant through the National Science Foundation (NSF), whose mission is to advance science by funding research.

    This summer, NSF awarded more than $359,000 for a pilot program. The NSF funds were allocated through the new “Improving Undergraduate STEM education (IUSE): GEOPAths” grant.

    “We are the only university in Georgia that received this (IUSE): GEOPAths: Informal Networks grant,” Mobasher said. “It is an incredible achievement to receive this grant, which will have a lasting impact on the discipline and future UNG students.”

    The workshop also will show teachers how to tailor the curriculum for students with disabilities, which is where Washell’s expertise is invaluable.

    “My role is to ensure the plan will support the special education teachers in the classroom and allow them to adapt the curriculum to their students’ needs,” she said.

    Adaptations will be varied, since disabilities range from low incidence, like a visual or hearing impairment, to high incidence, which may include learning disabilities or emotional and behavioral disorders.

    “Including special education in the program shows inclusivity and ensures all students are represented,” Washell said.

    Hall County high schools will test the pilot program. Hall County was chosen because of its proximity to UNG’s Gainesville Campus, where IESA is based.

    UNG’s faculty are looking forward to the experience.

    “We all came to the table with the same commitment,” Washell said. “I feel that working among the various disciplines at the university is not just about education. It goes beyond that. We are working to serve our community.

  • Pernia

    September 24, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    That will create opportunities for geologists too.

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