An important part of the GeoPaths Legends program is our teacher’s workshops which we hold each summer. The goal of the workshops is to provide a means for UNLV faculty and CCSD High School Geoscience teachers to engage with each other around teaching Geoscience in the context of the earth process on display in the Las Vegas area. The content and materials presented are specifically designed to support the development of lesson plans so that the CCSD teachers can use local examples in teaching concepts outlined in the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science. The workshops are planned collaboratively by UNLV Geoscience and College of Education faculty in consultation with CCSD curriculum experts.
The 2024 GeoPaths Teacher Workshop will be held sometime in June and will include subsequent follow up meeting during the academic year.
The application form for the workshop can be found at: https://forms.gle/RcUcBWWCp7LnsJd77
The exact dates and flyer for the June 2024 workshop will appear early in 2024. More details about the workshop can be gleaned from the summer 2023 workshop flyer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10wiOBJamp8awRvZRgMiGRLH0vwUFx0rA/view?usp=sharing
The June 2023 workshop was attended by 17 teachers from local high schools. We took field trips to the Great Unconformity at the base of Frenchman Mountain and visited a landslide deposit that demonstrates that Frenchman Mountain was transported by faults from the Gold Butte area to its current location just east of Las Vegas. Our trip to Frenchman Mountain was feature in the Las Vegas Sun. We also took a trip to Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area and learned about the large sand dunes that are preserved there. We also looked at how the shape of the landscape reflects the type of rock which is exposed at the surface and the way each rock type erodes. On the third field trip we visited the Red Rock Canyon Overlook. From that vantage point we could see the older Cambrian rocks that have been thrust up and above the Jurassic sandstone that make up Red Rocks. We went fossil hunting along Cowboy Canyon and visited the springs in Calico Basin. Throughout the trips we talked about making observations and the difference between observation and explanation. Much of the workshop was spent thinking about how teachers can incorporate local examples of geological phenomena into their earth science classes. We are looking forward to a follow up virtual workshop early in the new year.
Our first workshop took place June 20-24, 2022 on UNLV campus. We took several field trips to notable geological localities around Las Vegas Valley, including Ice Age Fossils State Park (not open to the public quite yet), Whitney Mesa, and the Great Unconformity at the base of Frenchman Mountain. Presentations were made by a number of local scientists who talked about their career journeys and research interests, including UNLV Geoscience faculty. The teachers were also able to work on curriculum ideas and activities, some example materials can be found on the curriculum page. A group photo of participants, and a collage of images taken during the field trips is shown below: