Creating an Alliance of Scientists and Educators in Virginia

Project Photo

Why this work?

This project confronts two critical obstacles to the advancement of public understanding of science. First, there is a need for K-12 teaching resources and professional development that will help teachers demonstrate scientific research practices and teach critical thinking skills. Second, while the best source of authentic, current, and topical research examples is scientists themselves, research scientists are often poorly trained to communicate their science to a broad audience.

This project will enhance K-12 science curriculum by providing teachers with resources that offer authentic examples of the research process and how science is applied to solve problems. It will also enhance graduate students’ science communication skills by providing formal training and an opportunity to translate their research into activities for secondary classrooms. 

About this project

Education specialists from the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Marine Advisory Services are collaborating to create the Virginia Scientists and Educators Alliance. Modeled after a similar network formed in North Carolina, the alliance will connect educators and researchers through a variety of networking opportunities. This includes graduate student training in lesson plan development, the development and piloting of those lesson plans, and sharing of all lesson plans developed via a lesson plan expo in the spring of 2017.

Project lead and contact

Sarah Nuss, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, Email:

To learn more, view the project factsheet (PDF).