Geoscience Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshops at the European Geoscience Union General Assembly

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Eve M Arnold1, Stephen A Macko2, Friedrich Barnikel3, Jean-Luc Berenguer4, Francesca Cifelli5, Francesca Funiciello5, Annegret Schwarz6, Phil Smith7 and Herbert Summesberger8, (1)Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, (2)Univ Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States, (3)Städt. Adolf-Weber-Gymnasium München, München, Germany, (4)GeoAzur, Valbonne, France, (5)University Studi Roma, Dipart. Scienze Geologiche, Roma, Italy, (6)Gymnasium an der Stadtmauer, Bad Kreuznach, Germany, (7)John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom, (8)Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria
GIFT workshops are a two-and-a-half-day teacher enhancement workshops organized by the EGU Committee on Education and held in conjunction with the EGU annual General Assembly. The program of each workshop focuses on a different general theme each year. Past themes have included, for example, "Mineral Resources", "Our Changing Planet", “Natural Hazards”, "Water" and “Biodiversity and Evolution”. These workshops combine scientific presentations on current research in Earth and Space Sciences, given by prominent scientists attending EGU General Assemblies, with hands-on, inquiry-based activities that can be used by the teachers in their classrooms to explain related scientific principles or topics. Teachers are also invited to present their own classroom activities to their colleagues, regardless of the scientific topic. The main objective of these workshops is to communicate first-hand scientific information to teachers in primary and secondary schools, significantly shortening the time between discovery and textbook. The GIFT workshop provides the teachers with materials that can be directly incorporated into their classroom, as well as those of their colleagues at home institutions. In addition, the full immersion of science teachers in a truly scientific context (EGU General Assemblies) and the direct contact with leading geoscientists stimulates curiosity towards research that the teachers can transmit to their pupils. In addition to their scientific content, the GIFT workshops are of high societal value. The value of bringing teachers from many nations together includes the potential for networking and collaborations, the sharing of experiences and an awareness of science education as it is presented in other countries. Since 2003, the EGU GIFT workshops have brought together more than 700 teachers from more than 25 nations. At all previous EGU GIFT workshops teachers mingled with others from outside their own country and informally interacted with the scientists, providing a venue for rich dialogue for all participants. The dialogues often included ideas about learning, presentation of science content and curriculum. Programs, presentations and Web streaming of past GIFT workshops are available at: http://www.egu.eu/education/gift/workshops/