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PolarTREC - Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating


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Type of project
Project theme
Education & Outreach
Project topic
Education & Outreach

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

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SAR information

Project details

Science / project summary

This project is a teacher professional development program advancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education by improving teacher content knowledge and instructional practices through Teacher Research Experiences (TRE) in the Arctic and Antarctic. Teachers spend three to six weeks participating in hands-on research in the polar regions and sharing their experiences with diverse audiences via PolarConnect real-time webinars, online multimedia journals, and interactive forums in the PolarTREC Virtual Base Camp. Teachers report significant improvements in their knowledge of the polar regions and ability to teach science concepts. Researchers report that PolarTREC outreach is an essential bridge between their science and the public. This project leverages cutting-edge science and global changes taking place in the polar regions, and is broadly disseminating activities and products to students, educators, researchers, and the public; sustaining the widespread interest in the polar regions that was generated during the International Polar Year. Intellectual Merit : The intellectual merit of PolarTREC lies in its integration of research and education through a uniquely comprehensive approach to TREs. PolarTREC contributes to STEM education and pedagogy through an innovative TRE model conceived and organized according to best practices such as pre-research training, mentoring, support for classroom transfer, and long-term access to resources and professional networks. Broader Impacts : Although a limited number of teachers participate in a field experience, those selected represent ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity and are well connected within their schools, communities, and professions. Participants are exemplary teacher-leaders in their schools, districts, states, and in professional organizations. PolarTREC is providing a professional development experience for at least 14 teachers including 2 community college professionals. 20 PolarConnect live events facilitating dialogue between nearly 8,000 international participants and polar researchers are planned, and 28 new polar related lesson plans are being disseminated. Discussions on current education and science issues are being broadcast and archived with participants reached via media and online interactions.