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MCEER's Online Educational Resources Highlighted at Mini-Conference for Science Teachers

MCEER’s Sofia Tangalos and Andrew McNeil recently presented at a mini-conference comprised of local educators hosted by the Western Section of the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS). Entitled “Bridging the Gap between Natural Hazards Research and STEM Educators,” the presentation highlighted some of the valuable online educational resources that MCEER has developed, including Connecte²d Teaching and the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fires of San Francisco, among others. These digital tools contribute to the transfer of knowledge into K-12 classroom learning and convey the research efforts conducted at MCEER and NEES@Buffalo over their combined 25-year history.

The Connecte²d Teaching website offers an innovative and interactive structural simulation tool, a comprehensive curricular unit of study comprised of ten lesson plans meeting NYS standards, a searchable database of vetted online resources, a small-scale physical experiment, and detailed information on earthquake engineering design. The Great 1906 Earthquake and Fires of San Francisco project digitized a centennial commemorative exhibit into an online resource. The site documents one of the most significant earthquakes of all time, explores the natural disaster, its devastation, and its social and economic impacts, explains how it was the catalyst for seismic regulation and building code development, and depicts one of the world’s first natural disasters recorded by photography.

STANYS is New York's oldest and most respected professional organization of science educators. The Association promotes excellence in science education and works with educators and communities to provide opportunities for all students to participate in and learn science. It comprises 16 regional sections, geographically dispersed throughout the state. The Western Section is chaired by Sandra George and is made up of educators from Erie and Wyoming Counties.

The mini-conference aims to provide professional development for teachers through a series of workshops focused on extending classroom learning in the Science discipline. The event took place at Frontier Central High School on March 26, 2013 in Hamburg, New York.

Sofia Tangalos and Andrew McNeil

 

Local teachers from several different science fields attended the conference.

 

Andrew McNeil describes some of the work MCEER is involved with at the bridge field station in Ashford, New York.

 

Sofia Tangalos answers a question from one of the conference attendees.

 

Various organizations set up displays in the main room.