The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will serve as the launch pad for a cutting edge “citizen science” program that will train educators in teaching science through original research projects that let teachers and students share in scientific discoveries.
The five-year program, led by N.C. State University, was just awarded a $7.3 million grant by the National Science Foundation and includes partnerships with N.C. State’s Kenan Fellows program  and Friday Institute  and seven school districts. The initiative is aimed at ultimately drawing 10,000 teachers worldwide into developing creative ways to incorporate scientific research and discovery into the classroom, which is expected to improve the educational success of both teachers and students while also yielding new discoveries.
Teachers will work with scientists in the research labs in the Museum’s new wing to develop models for science courses centered on original research projects.
The prototype classes should be completed by the end of summer 2014, and will then be incorporated into middle school science classes in seven North Carolina school systems. These classes will be closely tracked to determine the models’ impact on academic achievement. More school systems will be added to the program each year. The model courses will be available online throughout the program for use by any interested teachers.
Interested teachers are encouraged to sign up at: http://education.yourwildlife.org/ .