During September – December 2013, project staff developed, delivered, and archived an online workshop on C-DEBI science for educators from community colleges, four-year colleges, high schools, and informal science education institutions. The workshop, “Microbes down below! Exploring life beneath the ocean floor,” had 150 active participants from 36 states and 14 foreign countries. A majority of community college instructors who participated work with student populations where more than 50% are from groups underrepresented in science and technology fields. C-DEBI scientists Dr. John Kirkpatrick, University of Rhode Island, and Dr. Brandi Reese, University of Southern California, made presentations about their work, which were videotaped and posted online as the major focus of the workshop. Dr. Kirkpatrick also introduced C-DEBI research and methods in a video “virtual tour” that included an introduction to the deep biosphere, an overview of how cores are collected, and a demonstration of how samples are processed in his lab for genetic analysis. The top three rated sections of the online workshop were the scientists’ presentations, videos of presenters made into shorter sections (for easier classroom application), and the classroom connections and resources section. The online workshop was very well received: 89% of participants indicated that they became more interested in the subject and plan to share the information from the workshop with students and/or colleagues. Virtually all participants appreciated learning new content from content experts. One participant summed it up: “Contact with REAL CURRENT science/scientists is PRICELESS!” The content and resources will continue to be available in its archived form for participants and anyone who registers (free) with The College of Exploration.
- Microbes down below! Exploring life beneath the ocean floor workshop materials are freely accessible on line