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Boston College Researchers To Develop Urban Environmental Science Curriculum

Boston College Researchers To Develop Urban Environmental Science Curriculum

Working with at least 50 high school science teachers and 5,000 high school students over the next three years, an interdisciplinary group of Boston College faculty members will develop an urban environmental science curriculum, textbook and a multimedia package designed to introduce environmental studies to U.S. high school students.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a $2.1 million grant to the BC research group. The project will also include Pearson Education as a corporate partner and the Center for Applied Special Technology, which will help make the curriculum available to the widest range of students possible.

“During the three years of this grant, the team will build on the theme of urban field-based science education pioneered by the Urban Ecology Institute,” says Dr. Eric G. Strauss, director of BC’s environmental studies program and the science director of its Urban Ecology Institute.

“The team is particularly excited about the opportunity to bring the fruits of this interdisciplinary Boston College partnership, which has transformed science education in Boston, to the national scale,” he says. The project will collaborate with teachers in partner schools around the nation to launch and evaluate the curriculum. Eventually, Strauss says, the research group will scale the materials nationwide.

The Urban Ecology Institute employs scientists, educators and attorneys who research urban ecosystems, disseminate information to urban residents and policy makers and work with the public schools to protect urban natural resources.

In addition to Strauss, the faculty team managing the project are Charles Lord, executive director of the institute; and Dr.s G. Mike
Barnett and Katherine L. McNeill, professors in BC’s Lynch School of Education.

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