Teacher Workshops

Each fall and spring, GeoFORCE invites partner teachers to professional development workshops. Generally these are 2-day, 2-night events, all expenses paid. We strive to find topics relevant to teaching of science and geoscience in Texas. Most workshops include at least a half-day field trip. The Jackson School of Geosciences is a certified Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider.

Upcoming Workshops

Houston Region: Houston was recently named one of the World’s Nation Cities because of its strong economy and international importance. Why does Houston have these advantages? The oil and gas industry. Every Houston kid should have the chance to learn about it. We’ll begin at Chevron where we will learn how they determine what is underground and where oil and gas might lie. A trip to the Wiess Energy Hall focuses on how to bring this information into the classroom. The next day we will visit the BEG Core Depository and talk about how you can work with your students to understand drilling, reservoirs, and extraction.

Southwest Region: Ever wonder what GeoFORCE kids get to to in your region? This workshop focuses on field studies in the SW Texas region. We are preparing descriptions of some of the most interesting geologic sites in the area, complete with lessons you can use with your 7th – 12th grade students. We’ll provide you with the guides you would need to take your class there, including TEKS linked content to study. Teachers will be able to use the trips alone (2-3 hours) or combined (full day) to help their students learn about the geology that surrounds them and in currently changing their lives and communities.

Recent Workshops

February 10-12, 2012:  San Antonio Texas. The NEED project joined us again as we studied Wind Energy. Workshop focused on the physics and engineering involved in creating power from wind. Several lucky teachers got to take home a wind energy teaching kit for their school.

November 11-13, 2012:  Del Rio, Texas.  We focused on the Eagle Ford Shale and its impact on the Texas economy.  The first evening we started off with an overview of the geology of the Eagle Ford and of gas-shales in general.  The next day was spent in the field studying the geology and stratigraphy of the Eagle Ford Shale.  The following morning teachers visited a drilling site, a frac site, and an oil and gas processing facility, where they learned about extraction and processing of oil and gas from shale.

February 19-21, 2012:  Galveston, Texas.  We looked at beach processes and beach erosion especially as they relate to hurricane events.  We used problem based learning to create and solve a geologic question about the stratigraphic record on Follett’s Island.

November 6-8, 2011:  Austin and Elgin, Texas.  We started off on the water front in Austin, with material presented by the TXESS Revolution. We looked at stratigraphy, and how the rock record can tell a story.  Then we headed for a day in Elgin Texas, visiting both a lignite (coal power) mine and a clay (brick making) mine.  We got to see the processes from start to finish.

March 6-8, 2011: Austin, TX. This workshop was presented by STORE (Sequestration Training, Outreach, Research, and Education), and focused on energy again, with particular emphasis on carbon capture and sequestration. Teachers did enough work to heat a shower, visited a solar array, and hiked in the Barton Creek Greenbelt to see what limestone reservoir rock looks like.

November 14-16 2010: Corpus Christi, TX. This workshop was presented by the NEED (National Energy Education Development) project, and focused on energy including types of energy, transformation of energy, and energy along the gulf coast. Teachers participated in hands-on activities, including building a hydropower turbine, and plugging a leaking well on the sea-floor. Visit the NEED website for classroom activities you can download.