QUEST 2017

Quest Institutes will offer Climate and the Ocean: July 10-14th from 8:30am until 3:30pm on the Princeton University campus and two research-based partnerships.  Fire Ecology in the New Jersey Pine Barrens July 10-12th and Watershed Science Teachers Academy at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association July 17-19th.


1. Climate and the Ocean will take place July 10-14, 2017 for teachers of grades K-8

The ocean plays many important roles in our climate.  The ocean records changes in climate, modifies those changes, and is significantly impacted by climate. We will explore various interactions between the ocean and climate systems.

Climate & the Ocean will focus on the Disciplinary Core Ideas as well as Science & Engineering Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards to support teachers’ implementations.

Teachers will plan NGSS aligned lessons and engage in these NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

  •  Developing and using models
  •  Analyzing and interpreting data
  •  Engaging in argument from evidence

At Princeton University with Steve Carson, John Witherspoon Middle School and formerly with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Danielle Schmitt, Undergraduate Lab Manager, Department of Geosciences.


2. Warren Grove, NJ: Fire Ecology will take place July 10-12, 2017 for teachers of grades K-12 in all content areas

Teachers will investigate how forests vary in their response to fire disturbance occurring during different times of the year and under varying intensities.  Participants will spend 3 days in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, an approximately 1.4 million acre fire adapted ecosystem in southern New Jersey.  Data collection will  focus on fire impact on plants, insects and animals.  Plant diversity, soil nutrients and terrestrial insect community assemblages will be investigated at sites with varying disturbance regimes.  Participants will develop ecological hypotheses based on expected response to fire seasonality and intensity.

At the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education in the New Jersey Pine Barrens with Ryan Rebozo, Director of Conservation Science for the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Dane Ward, Assistant Director of the Laboratory of Pinelands Research (LPR) and Teaching Faculty in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science at Drexel University.


3. The Watershed Science Teachers Academy will take place July 17-19, 2017 for teachers of grades K-12

K-12 teachers will participate in field-based experiments and data collection with scientists to incorporate environmental science and engineering design into their curriculum.  This is an invaluable experience intended to be transferred to the classroom as teachers implement the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring water and the natural environment in central New Jersey, will host teachers in an environmental investigation of water pollution and strategies to mitigate the problems of stormwater runoff. Teachers will learn about the major factors affecting water quality and the engineering principles behind water management from Watershed Association scientists, educators and water stewards. Teachers will design a solution to address problems of stormwater runoff created by a man-made feature on the Watershed Reserve.

Teachers will have first hand experiences with the Science Practices as specified in the Next Generation Science Standards for their application in classroom instruction, curriculum and assessment: 

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Constructing explanations and defining solutions
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

At Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association in Pennington, NJ with Steve Tuorto, Director of Science and Stewardship and Jeff Hoagland, Director of Education.



QUEST is designed to enhance teachers' knowledge of science and mathematics through laboratory experiments and experiences aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Registration fee is $250 before 4/7/17 and fee increases to $300 after 4/7/17. Apply here.

Space is limited and we may not be able to accept all applications.