K-12 Education

Modern Blanket Toss students

Alaska EPSCoR's K-12 program supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education efforts across the state. These include:

The Modern Blanket Toss. Funded through a separate grant than EPSCoR's main award, this project uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and GIS technology to interest Alaskan high school students in STEM fields.

The Augmented-Reality Sandbox. EPSCoR collaborated with the Geographic Information Network of Alaska to create this novel K-12 outreach tool, a sandbox with an interactive topographic map projected on it.

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE). GLOBE is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. GLOBE activities in Alaska have included an international videoconference and Web forum; professional teacher development workshops; and class and individual investigations into plant and ice phenology and other climatic topics by K-12 students across Alaska and the world. GLOBE teachers and students have developed protocols for measuring climate change through phenomena such as times of river freeze-up and break-up, permafrost measurements taken through frost tubes, and mosquito observations and statistics. Alaska EPSCoR supports GLOBE by providing funding and personnel for teacher training workshops.

Association of Women in Science. Alaska EPSCoR partners with the Alaska chapter of AWIS to provide small cash prizes to female winners at Alaska science fairs.

The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Southcentral Test Case has contributed to several "Discovery Lab" events at this Homer-based reserve, which expose schoolchildren to aquatic science and some of the ideas behind EPSCoR research.

MapTEACH. The Northern Test Case has led several school activities through MapTEACH, a program in which students use GPSes and maps to understand the local landscape from scientific, cultural and personal perspectives.

Hike With the Scientists. The Southeast Test Case held two Hike With the Scientists events, in which local educators are taught about test case research during an expedition to Herbert Glacier outside of Juneau. The first event is detailed in the video below.

Adventure Learning. The Southeast Test Case conducted a pilot “Adventure Learning” workshop in October 2015, which exposed five Kenai Peninsula teachers to ways to engage their students in outdoor activities to excite them about STEM fields. The event has led to multiple field experiences with students and educational visits to high schools.  

Janteh Science Camp. EPSCoR assists with this summer science camp put on for young members of the Kenaitze Tribe on the Kenai Peninsula.

Alaska Native Engagement Grants. Alaska EPSCoR awarded two rounds of grants to UA faculty to undertake projects designed to increase the interest of Alaska Native K-12 or university students in STEM research.

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