Gina Foss

Team member: Gina Foss

Organization: Vista Ridge High School

Currently lives: Colorado Springs, Colorado


Experience or expertise/projects of note:

MA in Curriculum and Instruction/University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), BS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Microbiology/Northern Arizona University (NAU).  I have spent the last 19 years in the field of science education; 10 years in middle school and 9 years at high school, teaching Physics, Biology and Environmental Science. Throughout the last four years I have taken part, as a mentor teacher, in a research partnership between BSCS science learning and UCCS. This research aims to enhance the effectiveness and coherence of secondary science teacher education programs. To increase coherence, I have presented lessons to preservice teachers and worked with a team of fellow mentor teachers and instructors at the University, developing curriculum to incorporate into teacher education classes at UCCS.  The modifications to the science teacher education program helps to develop a common language and use of effective science teaching strategies to better prepare our future science teachers. 

Reasons I’m excited about this project:

Presenting the effects of climate change using local places or events that students have experienced is very different from showing them the melting sea ice of the arctic or flooding in coastal areas far from where they live. Localizing climate change can be an avenue to inspire students to take action or at the very least to increase awareness that the effects of climate change are far reaching. This approach helps students to make sense of climate change by connecting it with their knowledge and experiences in the places where they are growing up.  These lessons will engage students in ways that typical climate change lessons have been unable to do.

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Climate Education Pathways is work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. (DRL-2100808). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Image Credits: [Coho Salmon] – Oregon Department of Forestry, CC BY 2.0.      [Peaches] – Ivanna Kykla.     [Pine Nuts] – Dcrjsr, CC BY 3.0.      [Beetlekill and Healthy Trees] – UBC Micrometeorology, CC BY 2.0.      [Pika] – Tiziana Bardelli, CC BY-SA 4.0