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Volume 3, Number 4
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Partners in Science

The notion that science happens only in high-tech laboratories or on professional research vessels was never accurate. It doesn't describe Mendel in his monastery or Darwin aboard The Beagle or the backyard astronomers who've named a number of recent comets. Science happens wherever people do research with rigor - by recording observations, analyzing data, creating hypotheses and reporting results. It happens in high-tech labs - and in high school classrooms

If there is a gap between university labs and school classrooms, the Environmental Science Education Partnership (ESEP) is trying to bridge it. Comprised of educators working around the state with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), the Partnership is creating opportunities for teachers and students throughout the K-12 system to do science - not just study it. In ESEP programs, teachers, students and local citizens work side-by-side with scientists, exploring authentic scientific datasets and using state-of-the-science research tools and techniques.

ESEP projects include courses, workshops, web-based curricula and seminars for students and teachers. For information on upcoming opportunities for next year, teachers should contact the educators listed below.

Does it work? Here's what some of the teachers discovered once they were released back into their classrooms.

The following state and non-profit organizations also offer sponsored courses, workshops, field trips and funding opportunities for educators:

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Chesapeake Bay Trust
  • Living Classrooms Foundation
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • National Aquarium in Baltimore
  • Maryland Science Center
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • Patuxent Research Refuge and National Wildlife Visitors Center

For an overview of marine science education opportunities, visit the Maryland Sea Grant web site at www.mdsg.umd.edu/Education/programs.html and the ESEP web site at www.esep.umces.edu.

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