Ph.D. Student's Outreach Program Brings Geosciences to Elementary Students
Fifth Grade Students Get Hands-On Introduction to Geology and Earth Science
In 2010, Peter Anderson decided to merge his passion for geology with his passion for teaching. He targeted fifth grade students and created an outreach program to introduce the basics of geological sciences.
“I wanted to introduce young students to geology, show them science can be fun, and teach them about a career path that allows you to be active,” said Anderson, who is focusing on igneous petrology for this Ph.D. at the University of Houston.
Thank you note from students.To date, he has made more than 25 presentations to classes in Houston and San Antonio. The program is privately funded, but Anderson hopes to apply for a grant to support the activity. While he was completing his master’s degree in geology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, he was able to secure a Department of Education grant for the program.
“One of the most important aspects of the program is getting the children involved in the presentation. We get them engaged and teach them how to examine rocks, minerals and fossils,” he said.
When possible, Anderson schedules the presentations so that a female geologist can attend with him. “I want to make sure the young girls realize that women, not just men, can be scientists,” he said.
Each classroom receives a class set of Texas Rock Kits for future use.
“I hope to expand into nearby regions if other UH students and professionals become interested in helping with presentations or with funding this endeavor,” he said.
EAS students interested in participating in the program can contact Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics