Expanding GeoFORCE Texas
Principal Investigator: Harold McWilliams
Topics: Earth and Space Sciences
Grade Levels: High School
GeoFORCE Texas is the Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG) at the University of Texas-Austin’s outreach program geared towards attracting minority high school and undergraduate students to careers in the geosciences. TERC’s Expanding GeoFORCE Texas built on JSG’s lineup of summer academies and academic exchange program for students to incorporate a professional development component for 8th-12th grade minority-serving science teachers throughout the state. The project helped teachers learn techniques to cultivate minority students’ interest in the geosciences, and also augmented the teacher preparation required for a new Texas capstone Earth and Space Science course.
The Expanding GeoFORCE program was geared toward in-service high school teachers from 21 southwest districts as well as Texas Regional Collaborative mentors (educators who serve as district representatives and share the latest science content, pedagogy, and programming with their peers and school communities). The program offered professional development academies, summer institutes for highly motivated teacher-mentors, a curriculum implementation academy for the ESS course, and an online collaborative network for participating teachers to share their experiences and best practices.