Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.56
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
National Park Service STEM Kits for 4th-12th Grade Students

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Education and Outreach Center within the College of Natural Sciences has been contracted by the National Park Service to develop hands-on STEM kits for 4th through 12th grade students at various National Parks. The kits allow students visiting parks in Alaska to engage in real science to learn more about climate change through ice cores and permafrost. The kits are encoded with actual data from the Mt. Hunter glacier in Denali National Park and also introduce a cultural lens relating park history to indigenous people.

The project began in 2015 with the center assembling a team of park rangers, scientists, and teachers to design the kits. Data was then collected from the Mt. Hunter glacier to use in the kits. The kits have now been designed with the collected data. To connect the kits to classroom learning, the center has developed a workshop to introduce the kit and encourage teachers to make it part of their curriculum. The workshop for the Alaska park kits is titled "Engaging Alaska Youth in STEM and Community Resilience Workshop". Teachers who attend the workshop will earn continuing education credit. The workshop has been designed and the center is currently recruiting teachers to attend in Summer 2017 (a letter from the PI along with a copy of the workshop flyer is attached below).

This project is innovative and groundbreaking in that it represents a unique collaboration between a university and the National Parks to directly engage children in STEM education using real data to demonstrate climate change. The project is also ground-breaking in that the kits provided in the park are paired with hands-on workshops and continuing education with local teachers through a cultural lens, bringing the project full circle.

The project began in September 2015 and will continue through December 2019. Project funding is provided by the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring program.

This project directly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. It also directly supports Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Examples of STEM kits can be found at http://www.cns-eoc.colostate.edu/stemkits.html

National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring website: https://science.nature.nps.gov/im/

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