Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

K-12 Educator Resources

 Professional Development Opportunities for K-12 Teachers

 

For information about all NREL K-12 Education Programs and Projects, contact Amanda Morrison at 970-491-3552 or amanda.j.morrison@colostate.edu 

 

CURRENT EDUCATION & OUTREACH PROGRAMS

 

K-12 SCIENCE OUTREACH PROGRAM

Are you looking for help introducing and engaging your students in the scientific practices? Work side by side with ecology undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in your classroom or in the field to learn how to engage students in authentic research.  Learn about current research and how it can be used in your science classroom, including gaining access to real data from NREL scientists. Have your students design a research project, collect data, and analyze it using CitSci.org. Please contact Amanda if you would like to start the conversation about how to bring this experience to your classroom.

 

 

BIOENERGY ALLIANCE OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES (BANR) EDUCATION

BANR middle and high school lead teachers in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming are drawing on their own curricular frameworks and BANR teacher professional development to conduct “teaching experiments” with their students during the 2015-2016 school year.

Teaching experiments will include the development of learning goals aligned with curricular standards and addressing the following bioenergy topics:

 

  • Forest ecology, with focus on woody biomass production and the mountain pine beetle
  • Atomic-molecular scale carbon transforming processes
  • Biofuels production from woody biomass in the Rockies
  • Development and testing of activities including field trips, field and lab research and experiments, and ecological and socioeconomic investigations
  • Development and testing of assessments of student understanding of bioenergy concepts
  • Compilation of resources related to instruction about bioenergy in the Rocky Mountain region

The BANR lead teachers and education team personnel will use 2014-2016 to develop curricular materials by end of Spring 2016. During summer 2016, materials will be disseminated to interested teachers in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming through summer teacher workshops. BANR lead teachers and education team personnel will provide professional support to teachers who use the curricular materials in middle and high school classrooms during the 2016-2017 school year.  Email Amanda if you are interested in the 2016 professional development opportunity, using BANR curricular materials in your classroom, or would like to join the BANR Education Lead Teacher team for years 2016-2018.

Curricular materials developed by the BANR project will be made available on the BANR website.

 

2016 FIELD RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR TEACHERS

 

Free time trip over Atigun PassTOOLIK LAKE FIELD RESEARCH FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS

 

2016 Dates TBD

Toolik Lake Field Station, south of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

A perfect opportunity to engage in the 8 scientific practices emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards and gain experience in authentic science research! Teachers will travel with researchers to above the Arctic Circle where you will be immersed in 2 weeks of climate science.  Plan for field and lab work exploring the many parts of the tundra ecosystem being studied at Toolik Field Station while in Alaska, as well as follow-up development of an authentic research experience with the NREL Education Coordinator for your students within the year following your trip.  You will also become part of a network of teachers who share similar teaching goals and experiences. Please contact Amanda for more information about the 2016 experience for K-12 Teachers!

 

 

SUMMER SOIL INSTITUTE 2016

 

2016 Dates TBD

Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO

Join world-renowned researchers to address critical questions using current analytical techniques, experimental approaches, and instructional models in the exploration of Colorado soils this summer! Immerse yourself in 10 days of field trips, labs, discussion sessions, and lectures to learn how to study soils.  You will be engaged in scientific practices and have access to resources to help you enhance your science teaching. 

The following questions (and more) will be addressed:

  • What are the physical, chemical and biological components of soil? 
  • What do molecular techniques tell us about soil biodiversity? 
  • How does soil chemistry affect carbon and nutrient cycling? How are soil processes affected by global change?

 

The Summer Soil Institute is designed for graduate students, post-docs, professionals, faculty, and K-12 teachers.

The course is limited to a maximum of 24 students. Tuition is $2250 for current graduate students and $2750 for others. K-12 teachers maybe eligible for scholarships. For full consideration, applications should be submitted by March 15, 2016 for the 2016 course. Email Amanda or visit http://soilinstitute.nrel.colostate.edu to ask questions or apply.

 

TEACHING RESOURCES

 

NORTHERN COLORADO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION (NC-GCCE)

Supported by the NASA Global Climate Change Education Project, a group of research scientists at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University worked with teachers and students at the Poudre and Greeley-Evans School Districts in Northern Colorado. We have created classroom modules that use NASA data sets for teachers to use to instruct students about climate change. We take a cross-scale approach, using local demonstrations of climate change effects to put in context regional and even global changes. While these modules have a local component, the content can easily be used by teachers across the globe. 


 

Visit the NC-GCCE website to access all teaching modules:  

  • Prequel: Introduction to Remote Sensing and Electromagnetic Energy
  • Earth's Energy Budget
  • How Does Climate Change Effect The Earth's Four Spheres?
  • Climate Change, Past and Present
  • Ocens, Ice, and Climate Change
  • Fire Ecology of the Mountain West

 

PATHWAYS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY (Math and Science Pathways Partnership Project)                 

The Math Science Partnership (MSP)  - Pathways for Environmental Learning has wrapped up its funding cycle and all Teaching Experiments are now available online for you to use!  The four units focus on Carbon, Water, Biodiversity, and Citizenship and are available online for teacher use in the classroom anytime, with support provided by Amanda.  She is available to help you implement the Teaching Experiment units with students and to offer any assistance you may need.  All teaching materials are found here.