K-12 Teacher

Alaska Tsunami Education Program

K - 12 science and math lessons from both the Western Science and Indigenous Knowledge System perspective.

The Alaska Tsunami Education Program (ATEP) addresses Alaska science and math GLEs and Alaska standards for culturally responsive school.

ATEP includes:

  • Interactive multimedia components
  • Lessons available for download in PDF files
  • Online scientist mentor network
  • Scientist lectures on DVD

Created by teh University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, ATEP addresses Alaska Native students’ unique cultural, academic, and dropout prevention needs by providing progressive K-12 standards-based instruction, geospatial information technology (GIT) training, professional mentorship, and place-based inquiry that benefits rural communities and draws upon the knowledge of Elders.

Arctic Climate Modeling Program

K - 12 science and math lessons designed to be flexible -- use individually or as mini-units.

The research-based Arctic Climate Modeling Program (ACMP), funded by NSF , is a curriculum based resource designed with input from 21 scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. Resources include

  • K-12 inquiry-based classroom lessons
  • A student network for observing arctic weather
  • Digital lectures
  • An interactive multimedia learning system (on DVD)

Aurora Alive

Interactive multimedia science education

The Aurora Alive science education program teaches the science behind the Northern Lights, with hands-on classroom lessons and an exciting multimedia DVD that features hundreds of interactive activities, photos and movies of the aurora. The program is perfect for both classroom and homeschool use.

Created by the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute with support from the U.S. Department of Education.

Science Teacher Education Program

The Science Teacher Education Program (STEP) offers curriculum resources based on Alaska standards and Grade Level Expectations (GLEs). A themed lesson bank lets you search the database for lessons.

Lessons are grouped into four main themes:

  • Space exploration
  • Climate systems
  • Earth systems
  • Physical science

Seach by grade level, key words, and/or subject. All lessons target GLE's (grade-level expectations).

The STEP program is funded through a grant from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, and is managed by the Geophysical Institute Public Information and Education Outreach Office under the direction of Principal Investigator Kathy Bertram.

Volcanoes Alive

Explore the Science, Math, and Native Hawaiian Culture of Volcanoes in Hawai'i.

Volcanoes Alive is a bilingual curriculum featuring two comprehensive Teacher’s Manuals—one in the English language and one in the Hawaiian language. An associated bilingual, interactive, multimedia DVD brings hands-on curriculum to life.

Alaska Seas and Rivers Curriculum

An Alaska Sea Grant K - 8 Curriculum

The online Alaska Seas and Rivers marine/aquatic curriculum, developed by Alaska teachers, provides high-quality units for use by teachers and homeschoolers, as well as interpreters, youth groups, nature tour guides, and anyone seeking fascinating content on marine science topics. The units for grades K-8 are complete and ready to use. The curriculum meets Alaska science content standards and grade level expectations.

Reindeer Research Program

The Reindeer Research Program is dedicated to the development and promotion of the reindeer industry on the Seward Peninsula and throughout Alaska. We work closely with producers to develop and conduct research projects that can be applied directly to their operations. Outreach is a significant part of our program and we have strong ties to communities and schools across Alaska.

Educational Outreach

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a Land, Sea and Space Grant university, focused on the advancement and dissemination of knowledge "through teaching, research and public service with an emphasis on Alaska, the circumpolar North and their diverse peoples" (UAF mission statement.) In this spirit of public service, the Reindeer Research Program has a robust community outreach program.

Phone: 907.474.7516 or visit our website.

Major areas include:



Mapping technology experiences with Alaska's cultural heritage.

MapTEACH is a hands-on education program for middle and high school students in Alaska focused on understanding the local landscape from multiple perspectives and on learning to make and use computer-based maps of scientific, cultural and personal significance. The project emphasizes the integration of: geoscience, local landscape knowledge, geography and geospatial technology (GPS, GIS and remotely sensed imagery), and it draws upon the combined expertise of teachers, education researchers, remote sensing specialists, geoscience professionals, Native elders, and others with traditions-based knowledge.

Math in a Cultural Context

Lessons Learned from Yup'ik Eskimo Elders Project

Math in a Cultural Context (MCC) is a supplemental elementary school math series. The math modules that compose MCC are the result of a rather extraordinary collaboration of educators, Yup’ik elders and teachers, mathematicians and math educators, and Alaskan school districts.

MCC consists of:
• 9 supplemental math modules from 2nd grade to 7th grade
• 8 stories that accompany the modules
• CD’s and DVD’s that show exemplary cases of teachers using MCC to elders’ demonstrating their knowledge
• In preparation is a Guide to Using MCC

Tunnel Man Movies

In this series, Tunnel man explores Alaska's permafrost.

Learn about permafrost in a fun and engaging way -- let Tunnel Man show you how.

Tunnel Man movies are for educational purposes only. You may download the clips for individual use or in the classroom.

Alaska Biogeography - Plants and their Symbionts

UAS ED 593

Alaska Biogeography: Plants & their Symbionts  is a 4-credit continuing education course for secondary science teachers in Alaska that teaches the basic ecological concepts of phenology, invasive plants, and nitrogen fixation using plant-symbiont relationships (bacteria & mycorrhizal fungi) as a unifying theme. It includes the development of lesson plans and experiments for teachers  to use in their classrooms.

For more information, or to enroll, visit this website or call Alina Cushing, science outreach professional, Institute of Arctic Biology - 907-474-7152.

Observing Locally Connecting Globally

Observing Locally, Connecting Globally (OLCG) is a program funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant entitled Global Change Education Using Western Science and Native Observations.

The overall goal of Observing Locally Connecting Globallym (OLCG) is to provide Alaska teachers and students opportunities to engage in original global change research and to promote global change education in Alaska. By providing teacher training, Alaska Native Elder observations, and access to an international, web-based environmental science education program, OLCG is hoping to address thee need for locally relevant, inquiry based science education appropriate for Alaska's diverse multi-age and multicultural classrooms.

The OLCG program includes a two-week institute held each summer where project staff, guest elders and scientists help teachers learn to integrate local environmental observations into classroom studies and environmental monitoring efforts. Teachers learn to use the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program in their classrooms. GLOBE is a hands-on, primary and secondary school science education program that provides curricula and environmental data collected by classrooms around the world. OLCG teachers have access to assistance throughout the school year from the Alaska GLOBE Program staff and can earn continuing education credit for participation.

In addition, learn more about GLOBE's Seasons and Biomes project, both internationally and locally.

For more information, contact:

Elena Sparrow
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P.O. Box 757140
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: 907-474-7699
Fax: 907-474-7344

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

A resource for compiling and exchanging information related to Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing.

The Alaska Native Knowledge Network is a database driven website designed to serve as a resource for compiling and exchanging information related to Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing. It was established to provide Native people, government agencies, educators and the general public with access to the knowledge base that Alaska Natives have acquired through cumulative experience over millennia. Resources assembled in each region of the state through the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative are entered into the Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

The Network holds considerable amounts of information pertaining to Native Pathways to Education, Alaska Native Cultural Resources, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Indigenous Education Worldwide. Network users can search the database for resources such as culturally based science and math lessons, oral histories, videotapes, biographies, Elders’ conference reports, traditional place names and maps, and language materials. Teachers can search for culturally based curriculum and resources through an easy to use “Spiral Chart.” This chart organizes resources by grade and “Indigenous Theme” such as Family, Energy/Ecology, Applied Technology, Subsistence, Health/Wellness, Tribe/Community and Language/Communication.

The Alaska Federation of Natives and the University of Alaska, with support from the National Science Foundation, have formed the Alaska Native/Rural Education Consortium to provide support for the integration of Alaska Native knowledge and ways of knowing into the educational systems of Alaska. Anyone wishing to participate in the Alaska Native Knowledge Network or contribute to the development of the resources in this knowledge base is encouraged to contact the ANKN Coordinator at (907) 474-5086, or send an email message to fyankn@uaf.edu.

Village Science

Developed by Alan Dick, Village Science is a resource handbook for rural K-12 teachers that contains ideas and lesson plans demonstrating basic science concepts as they relate to village life. There is mounting evidence that curricula and teaching practices linking schooling to the surrounding cultural and physical environment produce positive results on all indicators of student and school performance.

Village Science blends common Alaskan village activities with modern physical science concepts and relevant math. A few activity topics include how to cut and dry fish, how to operate a wood stove efficiently, and the mechanics of a snow machine clutch. Each chapter has insightful content based on decades of village living as well as an extensive student question and response section. More importantly, the handbook includes activities that send students into the community looking for answers. A separate teachers? edition with answers to student questions accompanies the handbook.

Village Science is published by the Alaska Native Knowledge Network and is available through their website, www.ankn.uaf.edu.

Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network (ALISON)

A professional learning community between K-12 educators and university staff.

K-12 science and mathematics teachers, teachers' aides and university faculty working together to learn about the nature of scientific inquiry and the variability of lake ice, snow and conductive heat flow in the State of Alaska.

The goal of ALISON is to create a professional learning community that:

  • Increases knowledge and understanding of scientific inquiry and promotes polar science in the classroom;
  • Contributes to scientific knowledge and understanding of lake ice and snow;
  • Reduces teachers' physical and professional isolation, and;
  • Improves ties and understanding between K-12 educators and university faculty

Permafrost Outreach Program

The University of Alaska EPSCoR program is conducting a Permafrost Outreach Program in conjunction with its research focus on permafrost and infrastructure. The outreach effort has been termed the “Permafrost Health” program and consists of installing permafrost temperature monitoring systems at public schools across Alaska .

The installation consists of a small borehole (approximately 2 inches in diameter) that is drilled near the school. The borehole is then lined with plastic pipe and thermistor temperature sensors are installed at various depths.

We anticipate that the project will result in minimal disturbance at the surface and the only remaining equipment will be the underground temperature sensors and a small battery-operated data logger that will be housed in a small enclosure at the surface.