July 3, 2013

Alcoa Foundation Steers International Expansion for Environmental Education Program

Educators From North America, Australia and Jamaica Receive Training To Develop Interactive Curriculum


Alcoa Foundation is partnering with Keystone Science School, a nonprofit organization that teaches scientific principles and leadership skills to educators through hands-on field experiences, to sponsor 30 teachers from the United States, Australia, Canada and Jamaica to attend the Key Issues Institute in Silverthorne, CO. Because each educator will reach more than 135 students per year, the benefits of this sponsorship will reach more than 4,000 students annually. 
Alcoa (NYSE: AA) has operations in each of the countries involved in this project. In the U.S. the teachers come from California, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. This year, the program will be held in three, one-week sessions through July 28.
Keystone Science School has developed workshops to provide teachers with the skills and confidence necessary to bring environmental issues into their classroom. Key Issues Institute is Keystone Science School’s long-standing teacher professional development workshop, running for over 20 years. The aim of Key Issues Institute is to provide teachers with best practices to engage students in interactive, hands-on activities that make science come to life through meaningful learning experiences. Through the Institute, teachers also inspire scientific inquiry, leadership and civic engagement among their students.
“Alcoa Foundation is proud to partner with the Keystone Science School and help teachers develop the next generation of environmental ambassadors,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Extending this program to teachers in Australia, Canada, Jamaica, and the UK is a great enhancement for peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Through the Key Issues Institute, we’re strengthening communities, providing professional development and getting students excited about science,” said Davis.
Program participants use the Key Issues framework, an interdisciplinary course, to study environmental issues and promote a collaborative approach to scientific investigation and problem solving. Teachers leave the Institute with curriculum materials, lab equipment, and online support from staff and other educators. Past participants have addressed diverse issues with their students including water and air quality, wetland degradation, waste management, and recycling.

“Keystone Science School’s Key Issues professional development workshop provides teachers with a non-biased, interdisciplinary, standards-based framework to explore environmental issues with their students,” said Emily Weber, Educator Programs Director, Keystone Science School. “By providing teachers with hands-on guidance throughout the weeklong session, as well as all of the curriculum materials and lab kits needed for an issues investigation, we see a high rate of implementation and engagement in the classroom.”
Since 1997, Alcoa Foundation has sponsored more than 200 teachers to attend the Key Issues Institute.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Keystone Science School
Since 1976, Keystone Science School has taught scientific principles and leadership skills to young people, teachers, and community members through engaging hands-on field experiences. The School was founded on the belief that leaders should approach decision-making with a healthy respect for scientific inquiry, collaboration, and civic engagement. KSS’s programs prepare future leaders to address the increasingly complex issues our society faces. Located at 9,200 feet in Keystone, Colorado, the historic 23-acre campus serves as the ultimate outdoor laboratory and is the home base for a diverse suite of programs. More information can be found at www.KeystoneScienceSchool.org and www.keystonecurriculum.org.