Discoveries in Earth Science held in-person programming this summer

Two people looking at computer screen

Students in DES worked on their presentations during the last few days of the summer program.

The Discoveries in Earth Science (DES) program hosted its first in-person summer programming since July 2019.

The DES program is open to elementary through high school students with visual impairment or blindness and provides an opportunity to learn Earth science in a university setting.

During the three-week program, students took part in a variety of hands-on activities including identifying rocks, minerals and fossils; measuring water levels in groundwater wells; and measuring water quality. They also took field trips to Greenville Town Common, Goose Creek State Park, and the Aurora Fossil Museum.

At the end of the summer program, students created presentations for their families and friends about their favorite part of the experience. Some of the presentation topics covered collecting water samples, visiting the fossil museum, and learning about rocks and geologic record models.

The program was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 because, while the basic principles of Earth science could be taught, the core experiences were not easily shared in a virtual format.

The DES program is part of a research study funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and led by Dr. Rhea Miles. Other faculty members on the team are Dr. Alex Manda, Dr. Alana Zambone, and Dr. Meg Blome. Graduate assistant Zaye Massey, undergraduate assistant Lucas Mebane and volunteer Grace Jinks also assisted with the program.

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