Geoscience Education in the Mountain State:
RockCamp is the dominant vehicle for educational outreach here at the WVGES.
Assisted by classroom teachers, the West Virginia Geological and Economic
Survey, the West Virginia Department of Education, and the West Virginia
University Department of Geology and Geography cooperate to introduce West
Virginia K-12 teachers to the most recent developments in earth science
content and earth science teaching strategies. RockCamp began in 1992 with
funding supplied by the National Science Foundation and the West Virginia
Department of Education. Ongoing support from the West Virginia Legislature
and the West Virginia Coal Association allows RockCamp to continue. (Actually
the program was originally called "Earth Science in West Virginia for the
Twenty First Century" but RockCamp is much more 'way cool'!)
RockCamp provides K-12 teachers with the opportunity to experience thematic
and discovery-oriented pedagogy addressing the educational intent of the West
Virginia K-12 Science Framework. Each two-week, summer-residency institute
provides 20 teachers with the opportunity to experience a hands-on approach
to teaching earth science concepts. Participants are asked to use ideas
generated by these experiences as gateways for developing activities useful
in their classroom-specific settings.
RockCamp's goals are to:
Every academic year, each RockCamp graduate provides, on average, 107
students with 2 units, 9 lessons, 7 activities, and 36 hours of instruction
derived directly from that teacher's RockCamp experience. In addition, each
teacher shares materials and ideas with an average of 9 colleagues every
school year. This outreach effort has enabled RockCamp graduates to provide
new and additional earth science instruction and classroom ideas to thousands
of teachers and tens of thousands of students.
- Provide an educational environment conducive to personal assessment and
- Emphasize the relevancy of earth science through exposure to appropriate
- Introduce earth science activities which can be modified for classroom
- Stimulate interest in providing meaningful field experiences for every
- Encourage and provide opportunities for professional outreach.
Providing continued support and encouragement to K-12 teachers is perhaps the
most important role of the WVGES Education Outreach Programs. The two weeks
spent with each group of teachers should only be the beginning of our
commitment to providing them with opportunities and ideas aimed at
maintaining their interest in teaching earth science to their students.
For more information, contact Tom Repine, WVGES Education Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Page last revised: January 5, 2006