Product Type
Chicago, Illinios, United States
National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) conferences offer the latest in science content, teaching strategy, and research to enhance and expand your professional growth. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to collaborate with science education leaders and your peers. Each year, NSTA hosts a national conference on science education in the spring. PolarTREC staff and alumni made various presentations at the meeting. See the contributions on this NSTA 2015 presentations page.

AK to NSTA: Highlights of climate change course in Alaska for local and global teaching

Presenter: Sarah Bartholow  


A four-day field course?! Get the scientific highlights, skills to deal with skeptics, and educator's activities for climate change education in your classroom.

A four-day professional development field course, entitled "Climate Change: Seeing, Understanding, and Teaching" is held annually in Denali National Park, facilitated by partnering education organizations. Participants from around the U.S. join scientists and expert polar educators to view evidence of climate change in tundra dynamics, glaciers, and shifting habitats. The goal of the course is to provide classroom teachers with experience and information about climate change, which can integrate into existing science education curricula. Teaching climate change locally and globally is task best accomplished with a network of experienced educators. We bring that expert network to NSTA and empower educators to tackle the science and engage the students.  

With an overview of the field course, we will dive right into the issues of climate change and the activities perfected by polar educators. To bring home the message of the course, participants will try out climate change activities such as interpreting seasonal carbon graphs, creating vegetation plots to determine baseline data, and measuring CO2 flux straight from the tundra. Participants will See, Understand, and be better able to Teach climate change. Complimenting the hands-on components of the session, virtual resources as well as polar and climate professional networks will be highlighted.

Students respond to the field: Teaching with research experiences creates future scientists.

Presenter: Janet Warburton    


Teacher research experiences are shifting what it means to engage, to teach; and students are responding. Learn how to use research experiences to encourage future scientists.  

Educational research shows students take control of their own learning when teacher professional development role models engagement in real science with research teams. How can a teacher translate a research experience into teachable moments and effective curriculum?   

There is a growing student body, nationwide, calling themselves SoTREs – Students of Teacher Research Experiences. SoTRE's stem from the PolarTREC program; providing teachers a field research opportunity in the arctic or Antarctica. The program's multi-year evaluation tracks the increase in student engagement in research, attitudes towards science, and interest in pursing science careers when a teacher engages in real scientific efforts.   

As a new student science identity, SoTREs can influence a new direction for science learning, science interest, and will help us bridge the gap between increased STEM knowledge and STEM career choice in all disciplines. This presentation will examine the linkages between teacher experience and student science identity. It proposes steps for fostering a new student science identity in all classrooms by utilizing the components of a teacher research experience to transform students in your own classroom and community.  

Witness the Arctic Article

Innovative Field Course Offers Climate Change Lessons for Classroom Teachers    
Fall 2013 Issue 3  
Section - Science Education News  

Author: Sarah Bartholow  

Witness the Arctic, an ARCUS product, provides information on current arctic research efforts and findings, significant research initiatives, national policy affecting arctic research, international activities, and profiles of institutions with major arctic research efforts.