VANCOUVER – The National Science Foundation has awarded $2.7 million over a five year period to WSU Vancouver to allow up to ten science graduate students.
 
The graduate students will partner one-on-one with middle school science teachers in the Vancouver, Camas and La Center school districts.
 
Under the NSF’s Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 program, the graduate students and their partner teachers will engage sixth through ninth grade students in authentic scientific inquiry focused on environmental change in the Columbia River watershed.
 
“The central theme of this GK-12 project is also our campus theme, ‘Global Change in a Local Context,’ ” said Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, WSU Vancouver’s interim director of research and graduate education. “The Columbia River watershed is the unifying environmental feature around which students connect science concepts from their classrooms to their own backyard.”
 
The partnerships will enhance each district’s existing curriculum by identifying questions and activities about the Columbia River Watershed which link to state and national science standards, as well as expertise of WSU Vancouver’s research faculty and graduate students.
 
Other faculty involved are Stephen Bollens, Brian Tissot and Tamara Nelson, as well as Anne Kennedy of the Science and Math Education Resource Center.