VA SEA is a network of interested graduate students, teachers, and informal educators aimed at translating scientific research into engaging, inquiry-based science lesson plans.
Science education is greatly improved by incorporating authentic, current, and topical scientific research into lesson plans. Research scientists are the best sources of this research, but often lack the training to effectively communicate their science to a wide audience. To help bridge this knowledge gap, the Chesapeake Bay (Virginia) National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science created the Virginia Scientists and Educators Alliance (VA SEA) in 2015, with funding from the Science Collaborative. VA SEA is a network of interested graduate students, teachers, and informal educators aimed at translating scientific research into engaging, inquiry-based science lesson plans. Graduate students learn how to translate their authentic research into usable lesson plans for secondary science classrooms. Teachers learn from the graduate students, and also provide advisory support to the students by reviewing and pilot testing the lessons.
This science transfer project will transfer a successful model for science translation from the CBNERR to the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and Florida Sea Grant. The team aims to further improve K-12 science education, enhance graduate student science communication skills, and build capacity among other reserves and Sea Grant programs. Graduate students from Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida will participate in the program, with project educators transferring lessons learned and strategies for implementation to encourage the transfer of the project to other states.
Check out this overview of the Virginia Scientists & Educators Alliance (VA SEA) Program (credit: Virginia Institute of Marine Science)