“Off the Bench”: Three Case Studies of Geographic Information System (GIS) Integration in High School Chemistry Instruction

by Thomas C Hammond, Lehigh University; Kristen A. Brown, Texas Christian University; Curby Alexander, Texas Christian University; Molly Wienburgh, Texas Christian University; Kate Popejoy, PopejoySTEM LLC; Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University; Judith Morrison, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Danielle Malone, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Jonah Firestone, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Lindsay K. Lightner, Washington State University Tri-Cities; & Doug Leeson, Lehigh University

Across Texas, Washington, and Pennsylvania, three university teams worked with teachers at three high schools to integrate geographic information systems (GIS) and other geospatial tools into chemistry lessons as part of a larger, multi-disciplinary teacher professional development initiative. Each university followed a specific design model of socio-environmental science investigations (SESI) in their professional development and curriculum development processes. Each teacher’s work is presented as a case with distinct school contexts, professional development experiences, classroom implementation outcomes, and reflections after implementation. Cross-case findings include variability in teachers’ adoption processes, the importance of cross-site collaboration, and the ability of geospatial tools to bring chemistry topics “off the bench” and into students’ thinking about their world. These cases present an advance in the curricular reach of GIS, which to date has not been broadly used in high school chemistry instruction. Further, the cases illustrate examples of the teachers’ geospatial science pedagogical content knowledge.