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PolarTREC 2010-2014 Final Evaluation Report

This final PolarTREC report presents the findings from the summative evaluation of the PolarTREC program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF PLR Award #0956825) from 2010 to 2014.

PolarTREC had four primary goals: 1) to improve teacher content knowledge of the polar regions and the science conducted in these regions; 2) to increase teachers’ use of authentic scientific research or inquiry with their students; 3) to increase students’ understanding and interest in the polar regions; and 4) to increase researchers’ understanding of K-12 education. An underlying assumption of these goals is that teachers will develop long-term professional relationships with researchers and among other PolarTREC teachers. In turn, these professional relationships will facilitate ongoing teacher growth and integration of polar science content.

For this award, ARCUS contracted with the external evaluation team, Goldstream Group, to evaluate the PolarTREC program. The evaluation had two primary objectives: 1) to better understand the immediate impacts of the program on participating teachers, their students, and the researchers with whom they partnered; and 2) to explore the long-term impacts of the PolarTREC experiences on participating teachers’ professional experiences, and in particular their use of authentic scientific research with their students and ongoing relationships with researcher team members and other PolarTREC teachers.


Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). 2015. In House Report: PolarTREC 2010-2014 Final Evaluation Report. Prepared by Goldstream Group Inc., (NSF PLR Award #0956825). Available at

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