Project Overview

Virtual Galapagos: An Innovative Science Teaching and Outreach Project

Faculty Sponsor

Karen Harpp (


Earth and Environmental Geosciences
Educational Studies


Would you like to design new and exciting ways to teach science to children? Then join our team! The Virtual Galápagos (VG) program is a ten-week immersive summer experience with a focus on upper elementary education for undergrads interested in learning about STEM. VG participants earn a stipend, learn science pedagogy, and use design-based thinking strategies while applying what they’re learning to create interactive, innovative web-based curriculum materials.
Join a group of students from Colgate and other colleges all interested in developing STEM educational materials for P-12 youth. During the summer period, you will research, design, test, and build components of an interactive online resource that allows children (grades 3-5) to explore interdisciplinary science questions. The materials focus on the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s foremost examples of successful wilderness conservation and interdisciplinary research in the geosciences and evolutionary biology. In this highly collaborative environment, you will gain critical knowledge, skills, and confidence using discovery-based, interactive pedagogical methods. You’ll work directly with faculty in Educational Studies, Geology, and Science Outreach staff as well as a local teacher mentor and graduate students who will support your learning along the way to produce a component of our online educational resource and teaching materials that will be distributed to teachers and students around the world.

Student Qualifications

Students should have an interest in exploring new ways to teach STEM to children. Individuals considering careers in education, especially with a focus on STEM, are encouraged to apply, as are students either pursuing or contemplating pursuing majors in any of the sciences, math, or environmental studies. Students should have an interest in STEM education and/or childhood education. Students will need proficiency with word processing programs and basic technological tools. They also need to be comfortable engaging with diverse groups of people including local and international professionals.

Number of Student Researchers

6 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (