The goals of NSF GK12 project are to enrich high school student science learning and engagement and to enhance teacher and graduate student professional development. We seek to increase the environmental knowledge and science literacy of today’s high school students to produce citizens who will be able to make informed decisions regarding the environment. Through the graduate education program and Service Research we aim to produce environmental science leaders who will be able to meet the extraordinary environmental challenges of the 21st century.
Within the theme of Sustainable Communities, our activities focus on experiential and inquiry-based classroom and field-based activities and graduate teaching fellow-facilitated student research projects, with the activities culminating in the Environmental Summit, a student science symposium. This National Science Foundation funded project builds upon two well-established college/school partnerships: ESF in the High School dual enrollment program and the ESF Science Corps. In the 2008-2009 academic year we are collaborating with 25 high schools in urban, rural, and indigenous communities in New York, with the aim of engaging traditionally underrepresented and financially disadvantaged students.