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Some of our Past Educational and Outreach Activities

CEES has a long history in educational outreach programs, teaming research scientists with students, educators, and the general public. While K-12 programming in recent years has centered around the Mobile STEM Lab and other Technology, CEES has been involved in numerous other projects.  These projects have been designed as both formal and informal programs and are scalable to different levels of audience engagement. Here are some of our past programs and activities:


Professional Development Institute: June, 2017 

The 2017 PDI focused on hydrologic cycles and climate change.

The workshop for high school science teachers was led by Dr. Lixin Wang (Earth Sciences) and CEES education outreach staff.  Participants engaged in a mix of lectures, discussions, hands-on experiences, and field trips. Additionally, participants received a $600 stipend and professional growth points. 


The Great Coral Reef Adventure

The Great Coral Reef Adventure is an educational outreach program that links Indiana’s wetlands and watersheds to the water quality of Florida’s coral reefs.  The partnership between The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and CEES teaches water quality monitoring techniques to a group of fifteen 10-15 year old students.  The students worked in Central Indiana wetlands, Fall Creek, and the White River to evaluate water and habitat quality.  In March, the students continued water quality and habitat studies in South Florida at NOAA’s Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Florida Keys Coral Reef Classroom.  Trip activities culminated with a live satellite broadcast hosted by the student participants.  Results of research experiments and monitoring efforts were prepared and presented by participants at an exhibit at The Children’s Museum. 


Dino Dig Adventure

Dino Dig was a project that took a group of fifteen 9-12 year old students to a late Cretaceous (70 million year old) dinosaur excavation site in Wyoming.  Students spent 9 days working in the field alongside paleontologists excavating bones from a dinosaur bone bed.  They learned how to excavate bones, prepare bones for shipment, and created an exhibit of their adventure for a display at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. While at the site, participants documented the excavation, communicated with people worldwide via the World Wide Web, and answered questions using e-mail.   A live satellite broadcast was transmitted to schools throughout Indiana. To provide more children with this incredible opportunity, students in Indiana participated in a “virtual” dinosaur dig.  Participants served as docents at DINOMITE! – a three-day dinosaur festival held at the Children’s Museum, where the results of research from the dig were presented. Dino Dig was a cooperative project between CEES, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Earth Museum of Minneapolis, and Ameritech.


Summer Earth Science Courses for In-Service Teachers – Using Local Geoenvironmental Projects to Achieve National Science Education Standards

Dr. Barbara Cooper, and colleagues at Purdue University created a pilot summer course for in-service teachers to improve the quality of science teaching and help achieve National Science Education Standards by exposing in-service teachers to inquiry and research-based education. The pilot course used environmental geoscience issues as a mechanism to enhance math and science skills through a study of real world problems using a multidisciplinary approach. The project provided practicing teachers with exposure to cutting-edge geoenvironmental research and taught them how science education standards and goals can be integrated into their own teaching through student, team-based research. The field component of the course was taught in the Crooked Creek Watershed and Lake Sullivan Wetlands in northwestern Indianapolis. Teachers received continuing education credits in science and education. The course was a collaborative effort involving the Department of Geology and CEES at IUPUI, the School of Mathematics and Science Center, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University, and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University. This project was initially funded by a CEES Research Development Grant and is now funded by the National Science Foundation.


Elephant Ancestor’s in Indiana – Can You Dig It?

CEES has been a partner with IMAX 3D Theater and White River State Park to deliver distance education programs called Elephant Ancestors in Indiana – Can You Dig It?  The two-way interactive broadcast is delivered via the Vision Athena Network and is available to approximately 100 schools in the greater Indianapolis area and 250 schools throughout the state. The program is a distance learning initiative of the Corporation for Educational Communicators (CEC). The broadcast focuses on paleontology in Indiana and Indiana’s Ice Age including locating and identifying prehistoric animals, the discovery of an Indiana Mastodon, reconstructing Indiana’s Ice Age climate and paleontological tools and techniques. The program is a Distance Learning Program module associated with releases of the IMAX movie ‘African Elephants’. The programs aired in October 1999, October 2000, and April 2001 and are on-going.


Water resources trip to Lake Michigan

IUPUI CEES and the DJ Angus-Scientech Education Foundation co-led three day trips for central Indiana students and teachers in June 2011-2013 to Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan to participate in water resource research with the Annis Water Resources Institute on Lake Michigan. This trip has been provided to central Indiana students and teachers for over 30 years and 2013 was its final year. All  expenses were covered by the DJ Angus-Scientech Educational Foundation as part of their mission to support central Indiana students in the sciences.