VA SEA Lesson Plan Project for Science Graduate Students

Virginia Scientists & Educators Alliance (VA SEA)

Date TBD
VIMS Watermen's Hall
Gloucester Point, VA
*Apply Now* Deadline: Aug. 31

Matt Freedman

Virginia Scientists & Educators Alliance (VA SEA)

Educators from the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia (CBNERRVA) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) invite science graduate students from Virginia Sea Grant affiliated universities to participate in a lesson plan development project where they’ll learn best practices for communicating their research through the development of lesson plans designed for middle and high school classrooms.

VA SEA is a hybrid of VIMS' successful GK-12 project and North Carolina's SciREN project ( Both efforts have helped young scientists hone science communication skills by translating their research into classroom lesson plans. The lessons share current research and science problem solving with K-12 teachers and their students, increasing literacy in STEM subjects. Our VA SEA program which began in  2015 and has drawn 21 graduate students from VIMS, ODU and UVA produced 22 lesson plans. The lessons were shared with classroom teachers from across the state at our VA SEA Lesson Plan Expo in April 2017. They are now available on-line as VIMS educational publications and we continue to demonstrate and promote them to teachers at workshops and science education conferences.

We are starting a third round of the VA SEA project, and are now accepting applications from graduate students currently enrolled in any Virginia Sea Grant affiliated institution.

VA SEA Project Timeline

  • Sep & Oct 2019 - Attend two 1/2 day training workshops
  • Oct 2019 - Check-in meetings to review progress & answer questions
  • Oct - Nov 2019 - Develop research-based lesson plan
  • Jan - Feb 2020 - Teachers pilot test lesson plans
  • Mar 2020 - Refine lesson plan based on teacher feedback
  • April 2020 - Share lesson plan with VA teachers at VIMS Lesson Plan Expo

Benefits to graduate students:

  • Improve your communication & teaching skills
  • Learn best practices for lesson plan development
  • Work with teachers to bring current science into the classroom
  • Share your research with teachers & students across Virginia
  • $250 participant stipend
  • Lunch provided

Expectations of graduate students:

  • Attend 2 half-day training workshops at VIMS (date TBD)
  • Develop & submit a draft lesson plan
  • Revise lesson plan based on teacher feedback
  • Share lesson plan at VIMS Lesson Plan Expo in Spring 2020

Registration is limited to 12 participants. 

Questions? Contact:

Lisa Ayers Lawrence (graduate student contact)


Sarah McGuire Nuss (classroom teacher contact)