Students Discover is a 5-year project funded by the National Science Foundation (Math & Science Partnership Grant #1319293) with the goal to connect science and education through intense collaborations between middle school teachers that have been selected through the Kenan Fellows Program and postdoctoral researchers. I am one of these postdocs! Together we create lesson plans that incorporate citizen science and generate data for publications. During the 2016 3-week summer externship at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, I had the pleasure to work with three exceptional teachers (Paige Derouin, Michelle Hafey and Maggie McKinley) and together we formed Team Ant 2016! We worked on a suite of ant-themed lesson plans that jointly allow a holistic research experience for students including sample collection (Ant Picnic), data analysis and sample identification.
We continue to collaborate on new lesson plans that incorporate my research on indoor spider population genetics and are also currently working on a publication for an education journal to make the Students Discover concept accessible more broadly.