Resource for Teachers

Plan a Field Trip or Have Us Come to you

PLATEAU Teacher Professional Development Opportunities

Place-based Learning And Teaching Enhances Academic Understanding (PLATEAU) is a one year professional development program for K-8th grade teachers on the Colorado Plateau through the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education.

• Develop strategies for improving STEAM instruction and incorporating scientific and engineering practices into your instruction.
• Build a deeper understanding of the interrelationships between land, ecology, water, resources, and cultures of the Colorado Plateau to integrate place-based and outdoor education lessons into your STEAM curriculum.
• Join a community of teachers to work cooperatively on projects and problems relevant to your practice, school, community, and the bioregion.

Program Costs and Benefits

Participating teachers receive

• Funds to purchase materials to help implement programs"
• Travel support to workshop and annual conference"
• Optional graduate level recertification credit. (Non-degree earning graduate credit is available through the Colorado School of Mines for a fee.)
• Participating schools are asked for a monetary donation up to $1,500 per teacher to help defray the costs.

Program Requirements

• Attend a 5-day Summer Training in place-based education
• Attend the annual 2-day PLATEAU conference and complete a conference follow-up
• Enact a minimum of 1 place-based STEAM lesson per week"
• Meet with your regional coordinator once a month
• Participate in two facilitated virtual meeting per month with a small group of teachers to work together on practice
• Program staff will conduct two observation of classroom instruction.

-Intensive Teacher Summer or Fall Institute

An Intensive Teacher Summer or Fall Institute is the first phase of PLATEAU, designed to enhance teachers’ knowledge about the Colorado Plateau Bioregion. They learn to support student' cognitive growth and scientific investigation skills through place-based experiential activities. They engage their students in STEM, NGSS-based activities, curriculum, and science projects while developing ways to integrate place-based outdoor education into classrooms and satisfy each states’ core curricula, district requirements, and national standards. Held twice each summer and once in the fall, teachers explore the area through place-based lessons, learn outdoor classroom management techniques, and take home resources ready to use in their classroom!

-Intensive Teacher River Institute

An Intensive Teacher River Institute is the final phase of PLATEAU, designed to enhance teachers’ knowledge about water in the Colorado Plateau Bioregion, develop ways to integrate place-based water curriculum into their classroom and satisfy each states’ core curricula, district requirements, and national standards. Held twice each summer, teachers explore the San Juan River through place-based lessons, classroom management, and take home resources ready to use in their classroom!

Place-Based Education Teacher Professional Development Workshops

The Discovery Center also offers place-based education workshops, where teachers gain an in-depth understanding of how to apply place-based theory to practice in the classroom and a science-practice model that supports place-based STEM instruction. This two-hour, interactive workshop is available to all teachers in Colorado Plateau schools and on our campus and can be customized to teachers’ classroom needs. Small/large group pricing available upon request.

If your school or district is interested in becoming part of the PLATEAU Project, or scheduling a customized workshop at your school, or on our campus, please call or email Shawn Stevens, Discovery Center Director, at 800-525-4456 or .

pdfPLATEAU Newsletter SPRING 2017

Place-based Lesson Plans 

Welcome to the PLATEAU program lesson plan treasury. Here you will find lesson plans that will fit your place-based and science education needs, whether you are an enrolled PLATEAU teacher on the Colorado Plateau, or from afar. This link will take you to a Google Drive folder where you will see several subject based folders; Art and Music, Earth Science, Geography, Language Arts, Life Science, Math, Observational Skills,Physical Education, Physical Science, Social and Cultural Studies, and Team Building.

Lessons in these folders will primarily fit their folder subject area. Also in google drive folder you will find the Lesson Plan Inventory spreadsheet. This is a reference sheet that can direct you to what grade levels the lessons target, as well as secondary and tertiary subject areas, and topic area (plants, animals, weather, etc.). This can help you choose the best lesson for your needs. We hope that you find these lesson plans useful,convenient and effective.

Link to place-based lessons - Google Drive

Student Outreach - Let the Discovery Center Come to Your Classroom!

Four Corners School opens doorways for educators and their students making science relevant, meaningful, and exciting. We provide place-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming to teachers and students, with culture and community serving as a foundation for learning, building science knowledge for students’ through experiential learning.

Student outreach programs align with Common Core State Standards, and provide teachers with NGSS and inquiry-based techniques to enhance student learning. Activity kits include student supplies, equipment, data analysis worksheets, handouts, and supplemental materials for students’ and teacher/s. Programming reflects the core ideas of NGSS that include the physical, life, earth, and space sciences, as well as science and engineering.

If your school or district is interested in becoming part of the Student Outreach program, please contact .

Outreach Brochure - Elementary Schools

Outreach Brochure - Middle Schools

Outreach Brochure - High Schools