Title: Virtual Outcrop Models - Chances and Challenges for Geoscience School Education

Sylke Hlawatsch

Richard-Hallmann-Schule, Germany

Event: GeoKarlsruhe

Date: 2021

DOI: 10.48380/dggv-0e7z-w371

Geoscience has a key role in adressing the challenges of sustainability, yet in German schools a regular subject such as Earth sciences does not exist. Teacher feel uncomfortable with teaching the content and unless an infrastructure for geoscience education - including educational research and systematic teacher training - is implemented in all 16 German states this situation is unlikely to change. Thus geoscience outreach activities play an important role in informing the society about the processes that determine the continuous development of the Earth as a system. Can they also contribute towards geoscience school education?

The 3D digital model of the outcrop „Devils Table“ ( was used for instruction in an applied science course called „Geoscience“ with students aged 14-16 years. The aim of this small exploratory investigation was to find out, whether the students were able to identify the rocks characteristics only using the model and to what extend they deduced sensible conclusions about the development of the landscape from their observations. After that, the students received the information provided by the scientist online and were asked to verify their own assumption rsp. to identify and correct misconceptions.

All students showed interest in the task and developed their understanding of the Earth as a dynamic system. The learning outcomes and challenges will be presented and suggestions discussed that can help to enable teacher and students without geoscience background to profit from the digital outcrop models.

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