MUSICA Invites Applications from High School Teachers for Multidisciplinary Earth Science and Outreach Project in Colombia

March 6, 2020

Applications are open for high school teachers to participate in staff scientist Lara Wagner’s research project, MUSICA (Modeling, Uplift, Seismology, and Igneous geochemistry in the Colombian Andes).

In the summer of 2020, Wagner will lead a team of international scientists on a research expedition to Colombia where they will expand our understanding of how a specific tectonic setting, flat-slab subduction, affects the continents on which we live. The project, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), includes a plan to invite high school teachers along for the ride to experience fieldwork and develop opensource, bilingual curricula for their classes.

Applications are open to teachers from public secondary schools in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, AZ,  Austin, TX, and Medellin, Colombia. These cities are home to the project’s participating scientific institutions at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University, and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellin.

Selecting teachers from targeted urban environments is a top priority for Marlena Jones, the acting director for the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE). Jones explains, “Each of these cities is faced with challenges – lack of equity in science and STEM education means that students don’t often experience the quest and thrill of science and scientific research.”

Once the cohort of community educators is selected, the teachers will participate in a two-week externship in Colombia. They will receive first-hand experience setting up scientific experiments and learning from experts in the field.

The externship is designed to be transformative – enabling participating teachers to invigorate their classrooms with current research techniques and technologies, and also by offering a day-to-day view of the collaborative nature of field research involving scientists, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and many others. 

According to Jones, “The teachers who participate will take back to their classrooms a more thorough understanding of the real-life practices and policies of science thereby enhancing the relevance of student learning.” 

Teachers who participate will also prepare a series of lesson plans for dissemination to local, regional, and national science groups. The plans will be posted publicly on MUSICA website.  

Applications close on March 20, 2020. For more information on how to apply email or click here.

Colombian applicants, please email for more information.

View original on the Carnegie Earth and Planets Laboratory page.