Part of SGS-LTER's commitment to Education & Outreach
The National Science Foundation began funding the Schoolyard-LTER program in 1998. This initiative provides instruction, field research experiences, and data summary and analysis experiences to K-12 students and teachers using LTER research projects as examples. The SGS-LTER Schoolyard program includes four public schools in Colorado. Students at each school conduct both short-term and long-term research projects on their school grounds.
SGS-LTER receives supplemental funding from NSF to support the Research Assistantship for Minority High School Students (RAMHSS) program. RAMHSS teams high school students with SGS-LTER scientists, graduate students, and a teacher from the school district to give each student a hands-on research experience in the university setting. This program is an excellent opportunity for highly motivated minority students to grow both academically and personally.
SGS-LTER and its scientists receive supplemental funding from NSF to support Research Experience for Teachers (RET). The RET program allows K-12 teacher to work on a specific research project during the summer and then continue their involvement during the school year by implementing what they have learned into their classroom. Teacher’s get the opportunity to travel to field sites, conduct lab analysis, and present their findings at national meetings.
In 2001, The University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University were awarded an NSF GK-12 grant to establish partnerships with PIs, graduate students, and K-12 teachers that place teachers on a research team and graduate students in the K-12 classroom.
In 2009, Colorado State University, in partnership with University of California-Santa Barbara (SBC-LTER), University of Wyoming, University of Northern Colorado, University of New Mexico (LNO-LTER), Michigan State University (KBS-LTER), Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies (BES-LTER) and Towson University, was award a NSF Math and Science Partnership grant to look at “Culturally relevant ecology, learning progressions and environmental literacy.” This partnership connects the research of the LTER network to teacher professional development as well as students in grades 5-12.