There are two critical barriers to the advancement of public understanding of science. First, there is a need for more K-12 teaching resources and professional development designed to help teachers demonstrate scientific research practices and teach critical thinking skills. Second, while the best source of authentic, current, and topical research is scientists themselves, research scientists are not often trained to communicate their science to a broad audience. A 2015 Science Transfer project at the Chesapeake Bay Reserve in Virginia sought to address these challenges by enhancing K-12 science curricula by providing teachers with resources that offer authentic examples of the research process and how science is applied to solve problems, and by enhancing graduate students' science communication skills by providing formal training and an opportunity to translate their research into activities for secondary classrooms.
These 15 lesson plans are the result of this collaboration between scientists and educators in Virginia. Targeted for students in grades 6-12, each lesson plan is a classroom-tested science lesson plan produced by a graduate student from a Virginia university.