Top 10 Reasons to Host a PolarTREC Educator on Your Polar Research Expedition

PolarTREC Teacher Elizabeth Eubanks worked with Dr. Paulo Olivas and Dr. Steve O
Former teacher and PolarTREC alumni Elizabeth Eubanks worked with Dr. Paulo Olivas and Dr. Steve Oberbauer of Florida International University in Barrow, Alaska. Working together through PolarTREC led to an ongoing research project between Oberbauer, Eubanks, and her students in the mangrove swamp near their school.

  1. Fulfill your outreach and education goals.
    PolarTREC makes it "easy" to fulfill the education and outreach goals of your team, institution, and National Science Foundation Broader Impacts. With years of experience facilitating educator-researcher connections, PolarTREC provides a streamlined method and support for your participation in the education community.
  2. Add an enthusiastic member to your team.
    By adding a PolarTREC educator, you'll gain a willing and hardworking team member who will be excited about learning, participating, and getting their hands wet, cold, or dirty!
  3. Look at your research in new ways.
    Researchers participating in PolarTREC noted that they had to "boil their research down" and find ways to explain what they were doing and why they were doing it for the educators. Taking part in this exercise allowed them to look at their science from different points of view and answer questions they may have never thought of.
  4. Teach an educator.
    Educators benefit immensely from the research experience and learn first-hand polar science content, how to bring real science and inquiry-based activities to the classroom, and gain lasting connections to the science community.
  5. Connect your science to new audiences.
    Having an educator on your team captures public interest in your work and your science, bridging you with students, communities, media, and the general public.
  6. Learn about the state of K-12 education in the United States.
    Educators are faced with a unique set of challenges and rewards in the American school system. By bridging the gap between scientists and educators we can make strides towards improving the way schools prepare students for the future.
  7. Build connections to the education community.
    Often, the relationships forged between PolarTREC educators and researchers extend long beyond the field experience. They involve sharing and collaboration in science and education activities, and some researchers have worked with their educators to develop education and outreach plans in new proposals.
  8. Select your own educator.
    Educators are selected via a rigorous selection process by a committee representing research and education communities. However, when it comes down to the final selection, you and your team actually interview and make the final selection. We know it is important to add team members that have skills, abilities, and interests to meet your needs and a personality that will compliment your team.
    After his PolarTREC experience, Karl Horeis' third grade students use tools simi
    After his PolarTREC experience, Karl Horeis' third grade students use tools similar to his research experience to sift carefully through the sediment they dug up during their schoolyard excavation project.
  9. Become a better teacher and communicator.
    Most researchers are educators too. Working with a professional educator can help you improve your communication, teaching, presentation, and activity development for the university-level classes you teach or peer or community groups you make presentations to.
  10. Inspire the next generation of polar scientists.
    Break the assumption that scientists wear lab coats! By sharing your work with a educator and their school, you can show that science, technology, engineering, and math are fun subjects, with diverse, exciting, and rewarding career opportunities.