Since 2004, we have been directly involved with the GSA to provide access and opportunities for K9-16 students, particularly those interested in the broader aspects of geoscience-related topics, to present their field-and- laboratory based research outcomes at professional conferences and to learn from each other. So far, well-over 400 students from the U. S. and abroad have taken advantage of this opportunity and participated our topical sessions. It is quite gratifying to report that many of these students, as a result of their attendance at the GSA conference, felt a continuing need for exposure to high-level professional venues with effective knowledge-sharing and improving the level of understanding of the presented material. In addition, several presenters enthusiastically acknowledged their satisfaction with the significance of attendance at such high level meetings and potential to improve their chances of professional employment. Potential employers valued their experiential learning skills from both the educational and communications point of view and appreciated their endeavors and the preparation needed to attend and present at GSA conferences. Present-day extreme weather phenomena, environmental degradation, increased mega-flooding event, landslides, access to fresh drinking water, build-up or upgrading of aging infrastructures, etc. are closely tied to geological processes and anthropogenic practices. Students need to observe and connect geoscience concepts and understanding of the various phenomena, including representative case studies, to validate geoscience as a transformative discipline and its interdependence with other STEM disciplines such as physics, chemistry, and biology. We strongly believe that the future geoscience workforce needs to be trained from as early as the K9-12 grades via an integrated earth science curriculum that allows an open access to field-and research based content, creates inquiry-based knowledge, promotes group dynamics, and instills a sense of belonging. Given that over 70,000 K9-12 students took the Earth Science Regents examination last year in New York City alone, it will be worthwhile to work with the new cohort and provide them with a variety of learning tools to engage, inspire and attract them to the future geoscience-related workforce build-up.
Educational Technology Commons, Environmental Education Commons, Geology Commons, Other Environmental Sciences Commons, Science and Mathematics Education Commons, Sustainability Commons, Teacher Education and Professional Development Commons