As I live and teach longer, I am convinced that the youth of today is so engrossed in the here and now that they often lose sight of the rich lessons of the past and they can’t yet recognize the promises of the future. The study of Earth Science as it is required in our curriculum allows us an opportunity to develop an understanding of the processes that account for their present environment, both natural and man-made. I hope that this study will stimulate their imagination and curiosity and inspire respect for that environment.
This unit will explore those processes of geologic change, both bed rock and surficial, in evidence in the New Haven harbor area. It is designed for students of earth science in the eighth grade. It should be adaptable for any middle school or high school level. I expect to teach it in four weeks, using one day of each week as an on-site day. At each site I will emphasize a major geologic process or concept. In class we will use teacher demonstrations and experiments designed for, and hopefully by, students, I hope those students will gain insight into the special qualities of scientists who make geology their career or avocational interest. I’m particularly interested in seeing whether my students can be “turned on” or find excitement in truly earth-shaping events instead of tolerating a science class. The site I have chosen happens to be the New Haven harbor area, but the information, strategies and activities which I will employ should be adaptable for many other sites in this region.