To achieve the greatest outcomes using best practices in science teaching, each high school that has participated in ISLS over the past three years has formed its own, smaller learning community. Each school's learning community is composed of:
- five high school students (incoming juniors & seniors)
- one near-peer mentor (undergraduate or graduate student from Kent State University, Hiram College or the University of Akron)
- one high school science teacher
A key characteristic of these learning communities is that faculty, staff and student participants work together equally. These smaller learning communities together form the larger institute-wide learning community that embodies ISLS.
A Learning Community from ISLS 2008 showing that even labwork can be exciting.
Photo by Holly Wells
Each high school that participates in ISLS develops a "learning object" to take back to their school to improve environmental awareness and education in their own community. The term "learning object" is purposefully nebulous to allow each learning community the freedom to develop one that is best for their home school. Learning objects vary in size and scope, encompassing straightforward lesson plans, extracurricular after-school programs, and entirely new science courses.
These are general activities related to environmental education that can be used by any teacher for their classroom. All learning modules are stored in PDF format; you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader
to display the files correctly.