Information Technology through Community Based Natural Resources Program for Students and Teachers

Grants and Contracts Details


The Information Technology through Community-Based Natural Resources Program for Students and Teachers will present students and teachers opportunities to use remote sensing and three-dimensional (3-0) visualization to study real-life natural resource problems in their own communities with researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and information technology (IT) staff from the Interactive Digital Center (IDe) at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Middle and high school students and teachers will learn how to use remote sensing technology to collect data on community-based natural resource problems and create 3-D computer models to simulate the issues. The target population for this three-year project is ten multidisciplinary teams composed of five middle or high school teachers from central and eastern Kentucky, and at least one of their classes, and four student project leaders from each of the participating schools. The objectives include I) to increase middle and high school students and teachers knowledge and use of remote sensing technology and data and 3-D computer visualization; 2) for students and teachers to develop and use five 3-D models, five GIS/remote sensing maps, and five units of study based on natural resource issues in their communities to be disseminated to other schools statewide; 3) to develop student career-related IT Career Albums for use in their schools and districts; 4) to increase middle and high school teachers, students, guidance counselors and parents understanding of remote sensing and 3-D visualization careers and careers that demand IT skills within their communities. The methods include I) a two-week summer institute for teachers and selected student leaders; 2) long-term, job-embedded professional development for teachers; 3) year-long community-based explorations for all students; 4) computer-directed presentations by students and teachers at state and national conferences; 5) integration ofIT professionals into schools; and 6) workshops for guidance counselors and parents to raise awareness about IT careers related to natural resource fields. The project will be sustained through the University of Kentucky Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment. The intellectual merit of the project lies in I) the combined use of geospatial, remote sensing and 3-D compute visualization technology; 2) the strength of the collaborative partners within the UK's College of Agriculture to bring timely and relevant research to the classroom; 3) mentoring relationships among IDC, the College of Agriculture, community partners, and teachers to develop curriculum materials to fit local needs; 4) the power of using IT to do science, consequently getting central and eastern Kentucky students excited about STEM careers; and 5) the innovation of bringing multidisciplinary teams of teachers to solve community problems using technology. The broader impacts of this project include a lasting collaborative partnership established among teachers, IT instructors at the IDC and researchers within UK's College of Agriculture; the integration of innovative technology and research into schools' curricula; and new relationships established among teachers, guidance counselors, local industry partners and the business community. Kentucky's workforce will benefit from students increased knowledge and application of IT. Teachers will gain IT skills, learn to identify community-based problems and the technological and scientific resources needed to solve them, and acquire inquiry-based pedagogy. Undoubtedly, connecting Kentucky students and parents with the IT workforce and scientists has great potential for increasing the number of students selecting IT -related STEM courses and career paths. Finally, armed with the information and skills needed for technologyrelated careers, parents and guidance counselors will be able to educate their students and the public about the needs of the future workforce.
Effective start/end date2/1/081/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $1,155,525.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.