COSEE-OS Collaborates With COSEE Coastal Trends - 06.29.2010

COSEE-OS and COSEE Coastal Trends at the Scientist-Educator Partnerships Program
COSEE-OS recently helped COSEE Coastal Trends with their Scientist-Educator Partnerships program. The program features teams consisting of an underrepresented undergraduate student, a research scientist, a graduate student and a classroom teacher working together on a six week research and education project. The end result of their collaboration (in addition to the research performed and data collected) are web "modules" that contain educational materials and activities that can be used by educators and the public to learn more about certain topic areas. In this case, Scientist Tom Fisher will be working on a project involving watershed impacts to coastal ecosystem health.

By integrating concept mapping into the orientation for this program, COSEE Coastal Trends hopes to increase group consensus and group cohesion by using the tools to reach a common ground on content for their project. Lead by COSEE-OS, participants made concept maps of their life experiences as a pre-orientation homework assignment, and those were shared during orientation. The participants found many common links between their own stories and others in the group, which may help them to effectively work and live together.

The application of the COSEE-OS collaborative concept mapping model to the Partnership program is being tested by this group at the Horns Point Laboratory in Cambridge, MD as they work together through the summer. By collaboratively developing a concept map of their research, it is hoped that the final education products created will be both high-quality and well organized. Several participants have commented that the process was very helpful for them to learn about the topic and to think through the "bounds" of what the project will entail.

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