Coweeta LTER Schoolyard Program
Coweeta LTER scientists and staff provide middle school, high school, and community college students "hands on" field and laboratory research experience. The Schoolyard initiative has been funded since the 1998-1999 school year by an annual supplemental grant from the National Science Foundation to the core Coweeta LTER grant.
The purpose of the Schoolyard Program is to formally provide instruction, field research, and data summary and analysis experiences to K-16 students and instructors using Coweeta LTER research projects as an example.
The overall goal of the Schoolyard LTER initiative is to impress the importance of long-term research and environmental awareness into the curriculum of K-16 science instructors. The variety of ecosystems included in the LTER network, coupled with the ongoing ecological research, highlights the great potential in having Coweeta serve as a learning environment for students of all levels. It serves as a setting for teachers to learn about current science knowledge and methodology to include in their teachings. The LTER Network utilizes sites in multiple biomes to study five core areas of research: primary production, population studies, movement of organic matter, movement of inorganic matter, and disturbance patterns. This focus encompasses many historic and current issues in ecological studies.
Locally, the Coweeta LTER Schoolyard program has reached twenty teachers and nearly 800 students.
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