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People look at a sediment core in a pond.

Geoscience Teaching Outdoors in NC (GET OUTdoors in NC) is a free, year-long teacher fellowship designed to engage middle and high school STEM teachers in hands-on, inquiry-based activities to support student learning about earth and environmental science.


Through field experiences, classroom-based activities and webinars, participants:

  • investigate climate impacts on eastern NC ecosystems and communities;
  • explore new technologies and engineering practices used to develop solutions to these challenges,
  • interact with geoscience researchers, industry professionals and environmental educators; and
  • discover new ways to incorporate current science content into their classrooms.

Teachers in the salt marsh collecting sediment samples with a UNC graduate student.Our goal is to help teachers spark student interest in geoscience career pathways by incorporating authentic, real-world and field-based experiences in their teaching.

Teachers gain first-hand experience outdoors in the natural systems of eastern North Carolina as they participate in activities designed to boost knowledge of and confidence in using inquiry and place-based approaches to support student learning of earth/environmental science concepts.

“The access to local research scientists is one of the best parts of this program!”
– 2021-22 Participant


Participating teachers are encouraged to develop a geo-STEM lesson plan that incorporates outdoor instruction
and pilot it with high school youth during the academic year.

Content and activities are aligned with the NC Essential Standards for Earth/Environmental Science, 6th-8th grade Science and AP Environmental Science and integrate science and engineering practices outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards.

“I was supported to take risks and feel very comfortable with the group! This makes learning FUN and inspires me to give my students similar experiences.” — 2021-22 Participant


Two women stand at the edge of a sound with measuring tapes.

GET Outdoors in NC teachers participate in the following activities:

  • Summer Institute
  • Weekend Retreats
  • Online Professional Learning Community
  • Celebration of Geo-STEM Learning

GET Outdoors in NC teachers receive:

  • Authentic experiential learning opportunities designed to enrich knowledge of eastern North Carolina’s ecosystems, geography, and environmental history and enhance skills in using the outdoors for instruction.
  • Exposure to current geoscience issues and careers through interaction with research scientists, industry professionals and nonformal environmental educators.
  • Access to a peer learning network and current science content related to climate impacts and solutions.
  • Resources to support classroom integration of content and hands-on STEM investigations.
  • A stipend of up to $325 awarded on completion of key program components.
  • Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits and credit in the N.C. Environmental Education Certification Program offered through the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs.

“I greatly appreciated the ideas, activities, connections, research and data to share with my students.”2021-22 Participant

Program Contact

Sarah Yelton,

Environmental Education and Citizen Science Program Manager, Center for Public Engagement with Science

(919) 966-0895
sarah.yelton@unc.edu

People

Made Possible by:

Funding Source

GET Outdoors in NC is funded with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) GEOPAths program (Grant # ICER-2023173).

Collaborators

NC Museum of Natural Sciences – Greenville & Contentnea Creek

NC Museum of Natural Sciences

NC State Parks

Martin County Schools

Bertie County Schools

 

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