GK12 is an NSF funded program that implements the knowledge of Graduate Students to enhance Public school K-12 education. Arkansas State University places 8 graduate Fellows each year in Arkansas public schools to enrich Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the classroom. The Graduate Fellows draw upon current research experiences to develop lesson plans that meet state and national standards.
A GK12 theme of "Land Use, Land Cover, and Biodiversity in the Mississippi Embayment" was developed based on Environmental Sciences Graduate Program faculty research addressing regional biodiversity across ecosystems and organisms.
The goals of the program are:
- to improve Fellows' skills in communicating science to a broad audience while gaining a deeper understanding of their own research
- to improve or enhance teachers' knowledge and experience
- to pique students' interest in STEM and STEM careers while exposing students to an enriched STEM environment
- to strengthen partnerships between ASU and school districts
Intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposal are:
- for fellows to maintain links with 6-8th grade classroom
- to create student curiosity about STEM and STEM careers
- teachers being better trained
- to create linkages between higher education and school districts
- to reach under-served populations