Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines have become key focus areas in the education community of the United States. Newly adopted across the nation, Next Generation Science Standards require that educators embrace innovative approaches to teaching. Transforming classrooms to actively engage students through a combination of knowledge and practice develops conceptual understanding and application skills. The partnerships between researchers and educators during the Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ASPIRE) offer an example of how academic research can enhance K-12 student learning. In this commentary, we illustrate how ASPIRE teacher–scientist partnerships helped engage students with actual and virtual authentic scientific investigations. Crosscutting concepts of research in polar marine science can serve as intellectual tools to connect important ideas about ocean and climate science for the public good.
Garay L, Wotkyns AM, Lowry KE, Warburton J, Alderkamp A-C, et al. 2014. ASPIRE: Teachers and researchers working together to enhance student learning. Elem. Sci. Anth. 2: 000034 doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000034