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Information for Thesis Advisors and Department Chairs

Dartmouth GK-12 Project

2014-2015 Academic Year


The Dartmouth GK-12 Project provides funding and support for graduate students in science, engineering, and mathematics at Dartmouth College to work with local middle school teachers (grades 6-9) to develop inquiry-based activities designed to increase students' understanding of and interest in science. Up to eight graduate students (Graduate Fellows) will be paired with teachers (Partner Teachers) for the 2014-2015 Academic Year. Graduate Fellows and Partner Teachers will collaborate to develop or improve science lessons that incorporate strategies shown to foster creativity and communication. Graduate Fellows will receive training related to teaching, learning, communication, assessment, and creativity throughout the year. They will have opportunities to teach middle school students and will be mentored by their Partner Teachers as well as GK-12 Program Staff. One goal of the project is to foster long-term partnerships with teachers in the region.


By partnering with middle school teachers, Graduate Fellows will:

  • Improve their communication and creativity skills across a variety of levels and audiences
  • Gain a more contextualized and nuanced understanding of their research
  • Improve their teaching skills

Thesis Advisors will:

  • Build partnerships with local teachers that may result in meaningful opportunities for outreach components of grants
  • Find their graduate students more marketable due to their heightened professional training


The Dartmouth GK-12 Project for the 2014-2015 Academic Year will run from July 2014 through June 2015. Graduate Fellows are expected to:

  • Participate in GK-12 Orientation(s) in summer.
  • Spend approximately 10 hours per week on site with middle school students. (note: Graduate Fellows will spend a maximum of 15 hours/week of total time on GK-12 related activities including classroom time, training, and travel time.)
  • Attend workshops and mentoring sessions.
  • Work with GK-12 Partner Teachers to create or improve science lessons including active, inquiry-based lessons, activities, and projects that foster creativity.
  • Co-design and implement a longer-term inquiry-based classroom project that fosters creativity, including an assessment of student learning.
  • Create a grade-appropriate lesson/module related to your research that could be used by future members of your research group.
  • Meet periodically with GK-12 Administrative Team and communicate regularly with GK-12 Fellow Liaison, Cindy Tobery, to provide feedback on the program and the partnership progress.
  • Facilitate the visit of a graduate student or postdoc not in GK-12 to your Partner Teacher's school to give a Science CafĂ© or mini-poster session.
  • Share your GK-12 experience with each other, the Partner Teachers, the GK-12 Administrative Team, the Dartmouth community, and beyond. Take photos! Participate in the GK-12 Science Exchanges at Dartmouth College.
  • Participate in on-going evaluation.
  • Make satisfactory progress on your research.

Thesis Advisors are expected to:

  • Attend relevant portions of the GK-12 Orientation session.
  • Stay informed of your Fellow's GK-12 activities.
  • Visit your Fellow's classroom at least once during the year.
  • Support your Fellow in creating a grade-appropriate lesson/module related to their research that could continue to be used by others in your research group in the future.
  • When appropriate, assist your Fellow with visits by middle school students to your laboratories.
  • Communicate with your Fellow and the GK-12 Administrative Team to ensure your Fellow is distributing time appropriately. While this program is a large commitment, a Fellow's academic obligations have priority over GK-12 activities. We expect them to spend, on average, no more than 15 hours each week on GK-12 activities. It is permissible, often desirable, to spend more time on GK-12 activities some weeks, and less time other weeks. However, both NSF and Dartmouth GK-12 policies prohibit a Fellow spending, on average, more than 15 hours per week on GK-12 activities.
  • Communicate with your Fellow and the GK-12 Administrative Team regarding any concerns about the academic progress of your student.
  • Attend evening GK-12 Science Exchange discussions throughout the year.
  • Make an informal presentation on your research at one of the GK12 Science Exchanges.
  • Attend the GK-12 Symposium at Dartmouth College in the spring.

Graduate Fellow Stipend

Through the Dartmouth GK-12 Project, Graduate Fellows will receive a 12-month stipend of $30,000 plus health insurance reimbursement.

Who May Apply

Any Dartmouth graduate student in the Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Physics and Astronomy who will be entering at least their second year of graduate study during the 2014-2015 academic year is eligible to apply. Applicants must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States.


Graduate Fellow Application due: Monday, April 7, 2014

Thesis Advisor Recommendation due: Monday, April 14, 2014

Interviews and school visits conducted:  April - early May

Anticipated Announcement of Awards: late May


Thesis Advisors may submit a recommendation for their graduate students using this form:

Graduate Fellow Recommendation Form


Thesis Advisors and Department Chairs with questions about their graduate students being involved in GK-12 should contact Carl Renshaw, GK-12 Principal Investigator, Professor, Earth Sciences Department.

PDF Version of Thesis Advisor's Information

Last Updated: 12/10/13

Last Updated: 12/10/13