Each year, our educators travel out of Cordova and to remote locations to teach environmental science education; for example, we recently delivered science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs to 239 students from Unalaska, Akutan, Homer, and Seldovia through our Discovery Outreach learning programs.
Discovery Outreach expands our geographic scope, and since 1993 our educators have adapted Discovery Room materials to deliver programs to students in many rural areas. We offer numerous programs based on themes such as water, shorebirds, rainforests, wetlands, ecology, glaciers, ocean technology, and oil spill prevention. Teachers are able to choose lessons that best meet their needs for exposing students to new science learning opportunities and achieving academic benchmarks.
Building and maintaining connections between schools through ecosystem monitoring and data sharing is a priority. Teachers consider these visits to be one of the most rewarding parts of the program; our staff work intensively with the students and teachers and receive a warm welcome in the communities. These communities are isolated (all are served by air and water transportation only), and they typically have limited resources in small school systems. The Discovery Outreach program helps both to improve their access to science resources as well as to encourage excitement about science among Alaska Native youth.