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Release Date: June 17, 2011

DOE Collaborates with National Geographic's JASON Project on Award-Winning Curriculum
Lesson Plan for Middle School Students Explores Earth's Geologic Mysteries

Washington, DC - A new JASON Project middle school geology unit, developed with assistance from the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), has earned a prestigious "CODiE Award" as the nation's Best Science or Health curriculum.

To create Operation: Tectonic Fury - which unlocks the Earth's geologic mysteries through investigation of its past, present and future - is the fourth unit in a new line of middle school science curricula developed by the nonprofit subsidiary of the National Geographic Society. The CODiE Awards are presented annually by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) to recognize excellence and vision in educational technology, digital content, and software. NETL was one of four host sites used in making the unit. To create Operation: Tectonic Fury, JASON selected a small number of teachers and student "Argonauts" to conduct fieldwork with host researchers. The students and teachers spent 3 days at NETL investigating rocks, fossils, and coal, with a focus on predicting what happens underground during geologic carbon sequestration. Interactions among teachers, students, and researchers were photographed and videotaped, becoming part of the resulting curriculum.

Each JASON curriculum integrates digital and print content into inquiry-based instruction and is designed to fit within school districts' core curriculum. Operation: Tectonic Fury includes a full-color magazine that introduces students to the program, a detailed teacher's manual, videos, online resources, and digital labs and games. Complete curriculum units are free to download from the JASON website. Additional resources, including professional development and DVDs with up to 2 hours of video, are available for purchase.

Operation: Tectonic Fury was selected for the award by a pool of educators and technology experts. In addition to NETL, other host sites included the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. NETL previously collaborated on JASON's award-winning energy curriculum, Operation: Infinite Potential.

 


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