ECO Classroom: Helping Science Teachers Inspire the Next Generation

Northrop Grumman Chairman, President and CEO Wes Bush and Conservation International Chairman and CEO Peter Seligmann announcing the launch of ECO Classroom, an innovative professional development program for public middle and high school science teachers. (© Northrop Grumman)

At Conservation International (CI), we work to protect biodiversity, ensure food security and reduce the impact of climate change every day. And every day across the United States, middle and high school science teachers work to educate the young people who must continue this work to save our planet.

To effectively engage students in science education, we need teachers who are excited and informed about the subjects they teach. This is why CI and the Northrop Grumman Foundation have collaborated to create ECO Classroom — an exciting professional development opportunity for American public middle and high school science teachers in Costa Rica.

It is widely acknowledged that insufficient numbers of students are currently entering into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Innovators in these fields are crucial to safeguarding natural resources, increasing agricultural production and providing sustainable energy solutions. We must engage young minds and motivate students to enter STEM fields to become the next generation of environmental stewards and innovators. That’s where ECO Classroom comes in.

ECO Classroom’s summer program will take place at the Volcan Barva TEAM site in Costa Rica. The Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network is a partnership among four institutions — CI, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Smithsonian Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society — with 17 field sites in 15 countries throughout the tropics. TEAM brings together scientists from all over the world to collaborate on field research of tropical forests.

ECO Classroom’s participating teachers will learn about field data collection methods based on the TEAM protocols — climate, vegetation and terrestrial vertebrates — to learn about biodiversity, carbon sequestration and the impacts of climate change. TEAM staff have collaborated closely with Northrop Grumman staff to design the program, which will lead 16 middle and high school science teachers through the Costa Rican rainforest where they will be immersed in field and classroom work — interacting with local scientists and exploring the unique flora and fauna of this beautiful corner of our planet.

Applications for the program will be accepted until March 15, 2012. Learn more in the video below, and download the application on Northrop Grumman’s website.

We look forward to reviewing applications and to an exciting first year of this unique program!

Morgan Cottle is the TEAM project manager.


  1. Tamra Engelhorn Raven says

    We need the new global metric: The Gecoded Spatial Transparent Metric. GSTM. 10km3/10km3 x,y,z,t is a rectangular cuboid, unique geographic space (International Standards Organization ISO pending 2010).
    Meter cube data such as air, water, soil or plants can be GEOCODED and placed within the 10km3x2. Governments and Students K12 can collect data and use the GSTM for Long Term Monitoring LTM.
    1m3:10km3x2 is unique locally and allows each of us to RESEE THE LOCAL and make choices in SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by intentionally placing 1m3 data under INFORMATION VALUE CRITERIA e.g. MILLENNIUM ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT indicators.
    ANOMALY RECOGNITION and thus early warning and action can take place locally to buffer climate change and manage ENDEMIC PLANT SPECIES VEGETATION CONNECTIVITY, thus enhancing photosynthetic complementarity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *