Teton Science Schools
Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2011
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Within our local and national community there is a great need to reconnect people to nature through rigorous, meaningful, and hands-on science education and increase scientific literacy. Teton Science Schools' AmeriCorps Program will train Members to provide extraordinary field science programs at Teton Science Schools, with partnering non-profits in our local community and in their future careers as science educators in communities around the country. The AmeriCorps Program, run by Teton Science Schools, has proven successful in addressing the need for increasing scientific literacy and connection to nature through the development of Members in the following ways: 1. Focus on application of service to future career and role in home community: The Program focuses on the empowerment of Members to use the understandings, knowledge, skills, and experiences they gain through the Program to increase the scientific literacy of their future communities and to develop themselves as active and engaged local and global citizens. This focus extends the impact of their work beyond the timeframe of their service. 2. Training and Mentorship: The Program provides Members with intensive training, observation, evaluation, feedback, and mentorship that facilities their development as high quality science educators with the ability and confidence to engage both their students and the local community to increase science literacy. The trainings focus on developing Members who can provide hands-on science education that immerse learners in meaningful field research, challenges them to examine issues from diverse perspectives, and provides skills to examine and become active in local issues in their own communities. 3. Members Impact in the Local Community: Members apply the understandings, knowledge, skills, and experiences they gained through their training and teaching at Teton Science Schools to the local community. The Program is designed to have a long-term impact on the participants who are taught by the Members, the local non-profits assisted by the Members, and the future careers of the Members. The impact made by the Program will continue well beyond the presence of federal support. Teton Science Schools will also work to identify additional support from within the community of Jackson and work to develop systems that will allow the Program to grow and endure. The Members will expand the reach of Teton Science Schools' programming by allowing Teton Science Schools to increase the number of programs offered to visiting groups. The Members' work with community partner organizations will also expand the reach of Teton Science Schools' programming within our local community. The Members will also expand Teton Science Schools' reach by applying the understandings, knowledge, skills, and experiences they gain through AmeriCorps to their future careers as educators.