The MEGA:BITESS Academy will consist of a variety of platforms for educators to increase their understanding of entomology and geospatial analyses shared over 3 sequential workshops.
Workshops are designed so educators can use the developed curriculum with their students upon return to their classrooms. Each day of the workshop will include lectures, inquiry-driven learning opportunities, field or laboratory training, and a lunch and learn session.
Lectures will include material about medical entomology, geospatial analyses, and communications, and educators will learn and develop inquiry-driven curriculum to use in their classroom.
Lunch and learn sessions include a combination of lectures by professionals from different sectors (e.g., academia, government, industry) and leadership training opportunities.The lunch and learn sessions will be accompanied by a Wednesday evening dinner symposium that includes a lecture given by a prominent invited speaker that integrates medical entomology and geospatial analyses.
Materials will be live-streamed and recorded to provide access to those not participating in-person and for Academy participants to use either in class, to review, or for curriculum development.
Previous Academy participants will be invited to share their experiences with the new academy in subsequent workshops and may serve as mentors for new participants.
Three cohorts of 15 educators, totaling 45, will complete a yearlong academy in Medical Entomology and Geospatial Analyses (MEGA) Academy. The timeline for the academy includes seven in-service workshops days held at the University of Tennessee and year-round engagement with team members. Educators who complete the MEGA:BITESS Academy will receive a certificate, continuing education units, and be invited to participate in the following’s years evening symposium. Participants will be encouraged to serve as mentors for future cohorts.
To bring educators to the agricultural community, all workshops will be held on the Herbert College of Agriculture campus at the University of Tennessee. Facilities used for the academy accommodate persons with disabilities and are accessible. In-service training will provide educators the opportunity to participate in a combination of entomology (orange), geospatial (blue), project-based learning (white), and curriculum development (yellow) activities (see figure below).
Medical Entomology and Geospatial Analyses Workshop
This 5-day workshop consists of lectures, lessons, surveillance-focused field trips, and curriculum development. Educators will participate in inquiry-based learning by conducting mosquito surveillance within the training and this will include educator-initiated surveillance around the agriculture campus, collecting data and georeferencing sites, counting eggs, and developing community-informational material.
GIS & Geoinqury Review Workshop
This 1-day workshop focuses on using geospatial analyses on educator/student generated data. Academy faculty will guide educators through the phases of asking and answering geographic questions to encourage social responsibility to initiate global change. The Geoinquiry Process guides educators into thinking like a geographer, exploring the world, and emphasizes how educators who participate in this project will develop resource materials for their classrooms to guide their students in learning about La Crosse encephalitis and how to collect data for the project.
This 1-day workshop builds on the science communication lesson presented during the first 5-day workshop and will focus on creating effective digital and print communication material with a target audience in mind. Participants will explore layout and design to help them understand how to the create effective communication material. The workshop will circle around to build on the message development concepts discussed in the first 5-day workshop to help participants further understand message development and show them how to incorporate their messages into communication material.