Earthwatch’s innovative Teach Earth program offers K–12 educators the unique opportunity to work side by side with world-class scientists leading critical conservation research projects. Educators representing all subjects gain confidence in their scientific skills, and return home invigorated and inspired to share the experience of real discovery with their students.
Donor Name: Earthwatch
Country: United States
State: All States
Type of Grant: Fellowship
Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 01/10/2022
Earthwatch’s long-running Teach Earth fellowship, launched in 1975, is one of the few programs in the country that embeds teachers with world-class scientists on active research expeditions. By taking part in meaningful, hands-on research in the field, teachers return to school with a fresh perspective and are better able to engage their students on topics of science and environmental stewardship.
Teach Earth fellows step out of the classroom for 7 to 14 days and work alongside scientists to study nature, learning real-world research protocols, and recording observations and measurements in the field. They collect data that underpin scientific progress and can, over time, change the world. In the evenings, teacher fellows work together to brainstorm new lesson plans that will bring science to life back in the classroom.
Teach Earth is open to K-12 teachers of all disciplines, and is unique among professional development opportunities in three key ways:
- Depth of Experience: Teach Earth fellows gain confidence and a first-hand understanding of science as they conduct hands-on research in the field. Each project has been designed by a PhD-level scientist, who also leads lectures, trains teachers on data collection techniques, and shows how those data are used to answer hypothesis-driven problems. Teachers gain more in-depth access to scientists than through any other program, spending 7 to 14 days in the field together.
- Inspiration: An Earthwatch expedition takes educators away from their everyday lives, out of their comfort zones, and into the natural world—where they not only bear witness to the impacts humans have on the environment, but where they can take meaningful steps toward saving threatened species and habitats. Humbled and inspired by nature and each other, Teach Earth fellows return to their communities with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.
- Resources: All participants on a Teach Earth expedition are educators—peers who share your passions and frustrations, and who can be a valuable support network throughout your career. Each team also has a senior fellow who leads workshops and helps teachers translate their field experiences into lesson plans they can use in their own schools and communities. And after your expedition, you’ll have access to ongoing learning and networking opportunities through a private alumni Facebook group, a seasonal educator e-newsletter, and an annual webinar series.
- Each year, Earthwatch fundraises to cover the cost of as many Teach Earth fellowships as possible. This includes the expedition, travel stipend, and a unique Teach Earth fellowship experience. In recent years, they’ve received an astounding number of applications for Teach Earth—over 15 times as many applicants as fully-funded fellowships. In response to this interest, they now include partially-funded fellowships at a subsidized rate. With partially-funded fellowships, Earthwatch funding covers a portion of the full program cost and the teacher applies external funding to cover the remainder. External funding sources may include personal funds, school support, or grants.
The Teach Earth Experience
- Immerse yourself in a 7–14 day science learning and professional development experience in natural landscapes around the world.
- Collaborate with a team of teachers and share best practices, ideas, and the spirit of team-based scientific inquiry.
- Receive mentorship from an experienced Senior Fellow on transitioning your field experience to home.
- Ignite scientific discovery and environmental awareness within your classroom or community through a community action project or lesson plan.
- Join their growing network of nearly 50 years of Earthwatch educator alumni, with special access to Teach Earth alumni Facebook group and seasonal updates on teaching resources and professional development opportunities through newsletters and webinars.
Teach Earth Qualifications
- K-12 classroom teacher in the United States
- Available to travel for 7-14 days
- Passion for education
- Interest in environmental issues or how scientific research is conducted
- Desire to improve environmental or science education
- Enthusiasm for collaborating with a team of teachers from diverse backgrounds and expertise
- Commitment to engaging your students and community inside and outside the classroom
(An individual may only receive two Teach Earth fellowships in his or her lifetime, unless applying to return as a Senior Fellow).
For more information, visit Teach Earth Fellowship.