Educators who apply to become part of Down to Earth Expeditions have an opportunity to hone their lesson plans in conjunction with other teachers on an educational, arctic expedition. They receive quality feedback, improve their environmental curriculum through direct experience, gain a sense of place, self, and community within an Arctic environment.
On a yearly basis Down to Earth Expeditions heads out on 11-15 day arctic expedition with 5-7 teachers with various backgrounds in teaching, outdoor education, and guiding, along with a media team. We focus on Next Generation Science Standards through project based experiential education lessons that connect students to climate change issues within that region.
After each expedition, while in the Arctic, the educators lead a group of 6th grade students in an environmental project to promote awareness around climate change in that given Arctic region. Students are a mix; those who have traveled from mainland USA and those from within the native region.
Traveling students apply to the program and if chosen receive a full scholarship to participate. Students will: 1) gain perspective of another culture, 2) build new relationships, and 3) be given the chance to promote awareness around climate change through school.
All of our funding is through organizations/grants and private funding. Our long term goal is for funding sufficient to 100% financially support our teachers and students to participate. Our Goal in 2019/20 is for 100% support for students selected, as was done in 2017/18, and for teachers on the expedition to be supported for 50% of the travel amount.
DTE applications for educators and students, will go up 2019 for our next expedition in 2020, stay tuned .