March 17, 2011

University of North Dakota

With a GeoDome Theater with Uniview acquired in 2009, UND implemented the Simulation Immersion in Teacher Education (SITE) initiative. SITE’s goal was to integrate a digital simulation learning environment – the GeoDome – into school-based science instruction.

Content consultants from the College of Arts and Sciences, teacher educators from the College of Education and Human Development, teacher candidates in our teacher preparation programs and practicing teachers all worked together to explore the use of simulations as a learning tool, and then prepared and implemented inquiry-based activities for K-12 students in the Grand Forks Schools.

During the second year of the project, it was implemented in multiple schools in the district.  Participation and results were assessed through a research study. SITE involved 36 teacher candidates, 15 teachers, and nearly 450 students in grades 4-8.

UND is part of the Minnesota Regional Planetarium Network, a mix of fixed and portable GeoDome systems running Uniview, sharing costs and program development. Along with founding partner Minnesota Planetarium Society (now at the Bell Museum), these sites include GeoDome Evolvers at Mayo High School, Mankato East High School, Como Elementary, Southwest Minnesota State University, University of Wisconsin River Falls; GeoDome Theaters at UND and The Journey Museum; and a GeoDome Portal at Jackson Middle School Observatory.