K-12 Education

Ecology Explorers

Ecology Explorers is a community of scientists comprised of university researchers, K-12 students, and their teachers. Through this award-winning outreach program, 2,000 students in 75 schools across the Phoenix metro area conduct scientific research in their own backyards. Students learn about scientific inquiry and the environment while collecting data that contributes to understanding the workings of an urban ecosystem.

Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools

The Sustainable Schools program teams graduate and faculty researchers with high school teachers, their students, and school district administrators to help schools become more sustainable. Partnering school districts identify the aspects of sustainability they wish to improve — campus sustainability, community, or curriculum — while graduate researchers, under the supervision of ASU faculty scientists, help teachers and students use scientific methods to assess their sustainability in those areas. Graduate research fellows also provide sustainability training to teachers, career counselors, and community members.


The Modeling Institute is a part of ASU’s Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET) whose mission is to advance teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines and to foster communities of research and practice that will advance creativity and innovation and impact the frontiers of STEM learning. The Modeling Institute emphasizes the theme of sustainability in its programs and activities. Themes of urban ecology, urban sustainability, biodiversity and ecosystems run throughout the courses and activities of Middle School STEM MNS program courses.

Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment

SCENE links science expertise and resources at Arizona State University with schoolchildren and their teachers, municipalities, and members of the private sector. The program creates native habitat areas in Phoenix area schools, provides teacher training and resource materials, and offers a popular Research Experiences for High School Students program that immerses 10th through 12th grade students in cutting-edge research under the guidance of ASU scientists. Students find out what it takes to be a professional scientist by developing and conducting an original research project using state-of-the art facilities and equipment at ASU. High school juniors and seniors who complete the program receive a small scholarship to the college of their choice.