Creative Inquiry

Current Projects

Engaging Elementary Teachers and Students in Outdoor Learning Experiences with Mobile Learning


The purpose of this project is to support elementary teachers in effectively integrating outdoor learning environments (e.g. school courtyards) and mobile learning into their science curriculum. We will develop and refine learning activities and supplemental materials for using school courtyards to engage students in learning science with mobile learning (i.e. iPads). The modules developed for this project will also integrate science with other academic disciplines to address state and national science standards (i.e. Next Generation Science Standards) as well as other subject area standards (e.g. literacy and mathematics) while engaging students in environmental science themes. In teams and individually, we will implement modules with PreK-5th grade students at local elementary schools and refine them based on our experiences and reflections. We will also assess teachers’ beliefs about and implementation of the outdoor activities and our modules to support their science instruction. Research on the teachers’ use and beliefs about the learning modules will also be used to refine the modules and develop additional supplemental resources and activities that will support elementary teachers in effectively using their outdoor learning environments for teaching and learning integrated environmental science. The culminating project for this year's CI group will be a elementary science resource book that includes environmental science lesson plans that are inquiry-based, meet the Next Generation Science Standards, integrate multiple subjects areas, and engage students and teachers in effectively using mobile learning (e.g. iPads) for science investigations.

Team Leader(s)

Cynthia Deaton, PhDTeaching & Learning


Deaton, C., *Dickenson, S., *Mendez, D., *Brown, A., *Wilson, V. (2015, March). Five K-6th Grade Science Activities for Learning Environmental Science with Mobile Learning. Five posters to be presented for the Council for Elementary Science strand of the Elementary Extravaganza at the 2015 annual National Science Teachers Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
We received acceptance of our iBook as the yearbook for the Council for Elementary Science International (CESI). We will be finishing up the book April and will be able to showcase/share the book at the Council for Elementary Science International conference strand and sessions. It will also be showcased at the CESI membership meeting and awards ceremony at the National Science Teachers Association conference.

This project needs students. Click here for details.

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