TOTOS SEEP Grant EE/ESE Program Descriptions

Sustainability and Environmental Education for Pre-Service (SEEP)

Information needed

Information to share

Name(s) of instructor(s)

Tamara Holmlund Nelson

Name of university

WSU Vancouver

Level of preparation for the program being described: elementary, middle school, high school (or combination)

Elementary and middle school preservice teachers

University course number

T&L 572

University course title

K-8 Science Methods

University course catalogue description

Objectives of this specific EE-ESE project

(big ideas are fine)

Learn the components of engaging in a field investigation.

Practice using various data collection tools, such as Vernier probes.

Description of the experience(s) the pre-service teachers had to learn EE-ESE strategies

(This is the main, detailed description. Please include enough detail so someone else will know what you did.)

Preservice teachers (PSTs) undertook a field investigation based on the inquiry question: How does soil temperature change in relation to the substrate?

Before selecting this question, they brainstormed possible inquiries to learn more about the preferences of sow bugs. Using strategies from the Exploratorium’s Institute for Inquiry, the PSTs sorted questions into various categories, such as testable or non-testable, and quantitative or qualitative.

PSTs then identified variables and designed an investigation plan. After this was collectively approved, they went outside to collect data. Data was collected in 3 shaded locations: on pavement, on the grass, and under a bush. They used simple tools such as thermometers and stopwatches. The middle school –oriented PSTs also used Vernier probes and software to collect data and graph it in real-time.

Upon return to the classroom, strategies for data representation and analysis were explored. Results were shared and design limitations were discussed.

Throughout, the use of science notebooking strategies were modeled by the instructor and adopted by the PSTs.

Materials/equipment needed for the pre-service teacher experience (include technology that may have been used)

Rulers, stopwatches, thermometers, Vernier temperature probe and software, laptop computer, Vernier

Were preK-12 children involved? (Yes or no). If yes, describe their involvement and ages.


Was this an indoor or outdoor project (or both)?

Describe the setting.

Both. See above

Were other subject area professors involved? Yes or no. If yes, what subjects were integrated? How?

Literacy skills in the use of science notebooks.

Math skills in data representation and analysis.

Were there community/ agency/institution partners? Yes or no. If yes, how was the partnership structured?


How was the program evaluated? What did the pre-service teachers have to say?


If another grant was written to support your EE-ESE work, what types of things would you hope to accomplish?

Thank you!