Thirty U.S. science teachers went on an educational trek across the southwestern United States in a geology program that combines classroom learning with real-world experiences sponsored by Aramco.
Founded in 2007, the annual “G-Camp” (Geology Camp), is a Texas A&M University program investing in a teacher’s professional development, and, in turn, enriching the classroom experience for students.
Trip of a Lifetime
Teachers for grades 5-12, from all around the U.S., traveled to College Station, TX and spent 17 days trekking to national parks in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. Along the way, they learned about geologic mapping, gathered rock specimens for their classrooms, and visited sites of geologic phenomena. During the journey, the group started at 300 feet above sea level and ascended to altitudes of more than 12,000 feet.
Texas A&M University’s Rick Giardino, geomorphology, and Mike Pope, carbonate sedimentology, Department of Geology and Geophysics, selected locations designed to equip teachers with knowledge to meet national school curriculum standards.
ASC Geoscientist Travels with Group
For four days, Timothy Diggs, Senior Geological Consultant, ASC Upstream, joined G-Camp participants to offer industry insights. “Aramco is very passionate about having students develop through time to become potential geoscientists in any number of fields,” said Diggs. “G-Camp is part of Aramco’s extensive efforts to support and enable STEM education programs around the world to empower the next generation of researchers and scientists.”
Alumni form strong bonds, online “G-Camp” community
Science teachers in the U.S. are expected to teach a year of geology, a daunting task since college curriculums typically do not go beyond a three-hour geology-focused course. Giardino said his favorite part about “G-Camp” is interacting with the teachers and watching their passion for the subject grow. “The fact that they give up a part of their summer vacation to come out here and learn how to better nurture their students, it shows a lot of dedication to what they do.”
Aramco has been a major sponsor of “G-Camp” for more than a decade. The program’s popularity with teachers and alumni has resulted in the creation of an active online social media community through Facebook. With more than 30 teachers instructing hundreds of students each year, “G-Camp” has influenced tens of thousands of students, perhaps future geoscientists, and counting.