I start summer school tomorrow, but not the usual kind. Instead of sitting in a classroom and taking tests, I'll be at the Keystone Science School in Colorado's Arapaho National Forest, learning firsthand about sciencey things like geocaching, data collection, sustainable design and community development.


This trip isn't just for my education — I'll learn how to help others learn about science, too. KSS was founded in 1976 to teach "scientific principles and leadership skills to young people, teachers and community members" via hands-on field work, and the program I'm attending is specifically aimed at mid-level science teachers. Known as the Key Issues Institute, it gives educators "the process, skills and confidence to investigate current environmental issues with their students using innovative and engaging ideas, activities and methods," according to its website.


I'm not a science teacher, but as a science journalist, I'll be at KSS this week to experience the curriculum and convey its lessons to a wider audience. Between now and Sunday, I'll post periodically about what's going on at KSS, and I'll also interview some of the actual teachers who've traveled from around the country. Ultimately, their experiences will help shape the way thousands of kids learn about science.


The schedule looks pretty full — every day is packed with seminars, discussion groups, field trips and wilderness hikes — but I'll post as often as I can. Stay tuned here at MNN for updates, or check out my ramblings on Twitter and Facebook.


(Full disclosure: This trip is paid for by Georgia-Pacific, a sponsor of MNN. GP has supported the Keystone Science School for more than a decade, and also helps send several science teachers there every year.)


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MNN tease photo: Shutterstock

Russell McLendon ( @russmclendon ) writes about humans and other wildlife.

School's in for the summer
MNN's science editor reports from Keystone, Colo., this week, where he's visiting an innovative science school nestled high in the Rocky Mountains.