The Keystone Science School hosted educators from around the globe this summer for a forum dedicated to teaching hands-on leadership skills and principles.
Thirty-three teachers from the United States, Australia, Canada and Jamaica attended this year’s Key Issues Institute in Silverthorne. Because each educator will reach more than 135 students per year, the benefits of this sponsorship will reach more than 4,000 students annually.
“Alcoa Foundation is proud to partner with the Keystone Science School and help teachers develop the next generation of environmental ambassadors,” said Paula Davis, president of Alcoa Foundation, in a news release. “Extending this program to teachers in Australia, Canada and Jamaica is a great enhancement for peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Through the Key Issues Institute, we’re strengthening communities, providing professional development and getting students excited about science.”
Keystone Science School (KSS) has developed workshops to provide teachers with the skills and confidence necessary to bring environmental issues into their classroom, the release stated. Key Issues Institute is KSS’s, longest standing teacher professional development workshop, running strong for over 20 years.
The aim of the Key Issues Institute is to provide teachers with best practices to engage students in interactive, hands-on activities that make science come to life through meaningful learning experiences. The goal of the Institute is to inspire scientific inquiry, leadership development and civic engagement.
Program participants use the Key Issues framework, an interdisciplinary course, to study environmental issues and promote a collaborative approach to scientific investigation and problem solving. Teachers leave the Institute with curriculum materials, lab equipment and online support from staff and other educators.
Past participants have addressed diverse issues with their students including water and air quality, wetland degradation, waste management and recycling.
“Keystone Science School’s Key Issues professional development workshop provides teachers with a non-biased, interdisciplinary, standards-based framework to explore environmental issues with their students,” said Emily Weber, educator programs director at Keystone Science School, in the release. “By providing teachers with hands-on guidance throughout the weeklong session, as well as all of the curriculum materials and lab kits needed for an issues investigation, we see a high rate of implementation and engagement in the classroom.”
“Extending this program to teachers in Australia, Canada and Jamaica is a great enhancement for peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Through the Key Issues Institute, we’re strengthening communities, providing professional development and getting students excited about science.”
President of Alcoa Foundation