How to Apply

Man walking across bridge

Interested teachers must form a team of four and all members must submit a joint application to participate by April 8, 2016. Teams may be comprised of four teachers from the same district or a neighboring district. Teams may be comprised of middle school or high school teachers or a combinations of levels. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by May 15, 2016.

Click here to download the 2016 ECO Classroom Application (Word .doc)
  • Download the Application (Word .doc)
  • Save the file on your computer
  • Fill out the form completely
  • Follow the instructions on the form for how to return the application file along with all other required documents

Eligibility and Requirements

Eligible Teachers:

  • Need be full time science teachers (biology, life science, earth and environmental science) at accredited public middle or high schools in the USA
  • Must form teams of four teachers from a school district or region to work on a group project before, during and after the field experience. All four teachers must be from different schools.
  • Need to be recommended by a department chair, principal or other supervisor
  • Must be highly motivated to embrace the goals of the ECO Classroom Program
  • Due to the facilities and landscape of the La Selva Biological Station and the field work associated with this program, applicants will need to be physically able to perform the field work and have the ability to walk, hike or otherwise navigate through the Costa Rican terrain.
  • Northrop Grumman employees and their immediate family are not eligible to participate in this program.

Special considerations:

  • Will be given to educators in underserved communities
  • Only teachers who have not previously participated in the Northrop Grumman Foundation Earthwatch Educators program are eligible to apply

Requirements for teachers:

  • Fill out and submit an ECO Classroom application form
  • Obtain and submit 1) a signed letter of recommendation, on school letterhead, from the school principal or science department chair AND 2) a signed letter of recommendation, on school letterhead, from a colleague familiar with your work.
  • Attend a one day ECO Classroom regional meeting during the school year prior to the field trip experience with full release from your assignment for that day  
  • Possess or obtain a valid U.S. passport
  • If selected, complete the appropriate liability, medical and photo release forms
  • Complete post-field experience curriculum for publication on the ECO Classroom web site
  • Participate in post-field experience interviews and/or surveys
  • Some teachers may be asked to co-lead a workshop at National or State Science Teacher Association meeting

 Tips for Success in the Application Process

  1. Read through the program requirements and the application document to determine your eligibility.
  2. Contact three other middle or high school science (biology, ecology, environmental or earth systems science) colleagues from your district or a neighboring district to form your ECO Classroom team. All four teachers must be from different schools.
  3. Meet and decide on the focus of your group plan (see list of 5 possible group plans on application).
  4. Choose a group leader and name and write a single page outline of your group plan.
  5. Individually fill out parts A – E in the application. Each teacher submits an application, but one group plan (part F).
  6. Part F in the application will be your one page group plan.
  7. Individually obtain your 2 letters of recommendation for Part G (remember that letters must be on letterhead stationary). Letters should be sealed for confidentiality.
  8. Submit your completed application (postmarked by April 8, 2016) to:

James MacCarthy
Conservation International
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202

We look forward to reading your application. You will be notified by May 15, 2016 of our group choices for the ECO Classroom program. Thank you for your interest!

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