Author Archives: Erin Parker

Erin Parker

About Erin Parker

Erin Parker is still sometimes surprised to find herself in front of a classroom, where she teaches earth sciences to 150 boisterous students each semester in an urban public high school in Wisconsin. She also can’t imagine herself doing anything else, even on the tough days. Erin’s posts explore earth science through the lens of a public educator and advocate for a scientifically-literate world.

Unifying Theory of Geology Class

Erin Parker

The last quarter of a school year is often the most challenging- for both students and teachers. The end is in sight, but we still have a lot of content to cover. School activities ramp up- prom, Advanced Placement tests, … Continue reading

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Glaciations and ruminations

Erin Parker

The Midwest is not known for its obvious geologic charms- the highest point in Wisconsin, for example, is Timm’s Hill, which only stretches 1,951 feet above sea level. Wisconsin landscapes lack the breathtaking scenery of snow-capped mountains or the alien … Continue reading

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Science Standards- earth and space science

Erin Parker

“Science, Earth and Space, Performance Standards E Grade 12 By the end of grade twelve, students will: ENERGY IN THE EARTH SYSTEM E. 12.1 Using the science themes*, distinguish between internal energies* (decay of radioactive isotopes, gravity) and external energies … Continue reading

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Making it relevant

Erin Parker

I suspect that every teacher has heard “why do we have to learn this, anyway”? about their subject material. I struggle with how to answer this question from my students- kids who likely won’t pursue any further science education beyond … Continue reading

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Please don’t lick the specimens…

Erin Parker

Like many high school science teachers*, I have a bachelors degree in science and then I went back to school to add my teaching certifications** after a few years of working. My own BS is in ecology and environmental science, … Continue reading

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Radioactive

Erin Parker

“Whoa! Ms. Parker, is that uranium?” one of my students shouts at me as he enters the room after lunch, eyeing the beakers of yellow liquid on the front table. Students don’t seem to struggle with relative dating- stratigraphy, at … Continue reading

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Bedrock

Erin Parker

Bedrock (noun): 1) Solid rock underlying loose deposits such as soil or alluvium 2) The fundamental principles on which something is based It is the third week of the semester, and one of my unruliest classes of high school students … Continue reading

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