Lauren WatelLauren Watel adds enzymes to microbes to start the process of DNA extraction. Toolik Field Station, Alaska. Photo by Regina Brinker (PolarTREC 2014).

The long-term PolarTREC vision is to create and sustain a successful approach to professional development in the polar regions, fostering enthusiasm and awareness to inspire the next generation of scientists and a STEM-literate public. The program goal is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing educators and polar researchers together in professional collaboration. By integrating research and education, PolarTREC will help sustain and grow the scientific, public, and political enthusiasm for polar research and education.

For 2019, pending funding from the National Science Foundation, we hope to achieve this goal through the following objectives and revised program model:

Objective 1: To improve Educators’ STEM content knowledge of the Polar regions and transfer to their learning setting.

Objective 2: To increase teachers’ knowledge and use of STEM practices with their students in their learning setting.

Objective 3: To build teachers' science identity.

Objective 4: To increase students’ understanding and engagement in the polar regions and interest in polar-related STEM careers.

Objective 5: To develop long-term professional relationships between the education and research communities.

Please note the term "teacher" applies to educators in both the formal and informal educational settings.