PI-CASC Awarded Community for Data Integration Funding

Headshot of Emily Sesno
PI-CASC lead for education, Emily Sesno.

Outreach Biologist with the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center’, Emily Sesno, was recently awarded funding through the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Community for Data Integration to develop interactive digital lesson plans. The project aims to better support educators in teaching climate change by developing tools that engage students with real data.

Sesno brings together a team of talented members from across the USGS with diverse skill sets, such as Vizlab program developers, Water Science School staff, and an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow.  “Our project team aims to transform our science and data into something accessible for teachers to use in the classroom. We want to create something creative, interdisciplinary, and just truly engaging,” said Sesno.

Over the next six months, Sesno and her team will build interactive, standards-aligned lessons that include activities using USGS data on topics like urban heat and streamflow. The lessons will incorporate digital interaction with existing data and provide opportunities for students to go into the field and lead data collection efforts. The additional focus group will be an in-person workshop with a diverse group of educators at USGS Headquarters in Virginia, which will extend collaboration between researchers and educators. Attendees will take science kits back to their classrooms that correspond with the applications to better conduct the field components of the lessons.

While the initial project scope uses data that span the US, the potential impact on the Pacific Islands is vast and will include local place-based elements. “I appreciate how many hats teachers wear and how much time they

School children using computers in classroom at school.Interracial primary classroom learning to use laptop.

dedicate to their students. As a public science agency, we have the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to ensure that our science supports everyone, especially the next generation. I hope this is just the first step to building more activities covering a wider array of topics that meet the needs of our teachers in the Pacific Islands and beyond.”