The Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) is a non-profit organization that creates connections between educators and STEM researchers. Founded and led by graduate students in North Carolina, the network’s aim is to make current research available and accessible to K-12 educators in order to enhance science literacy. To accomplish this, SciREN supports scientists in developing research-based lesson plans that incorporate current national and state standards, as well as organizing free annual networking events where researchers can share their completed lesson plans with educators. At these events, scientists and educators mingle, share lesson plans, and discuss current STEM research.

sciREN LogoAPNEP has participated in numerous SciREN events since 2014, including Greenville’s inaugural SciREN networking event in 2016. We have also developed lesson plans to present at SciREN, available for download below and in our Lesson Plan Database. Participation in SciREN as well as these other initiatives supports one of APNEP’s major goals in our long-term Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which is to"engage the public in sustained and coordinated efforts to increase public awareness and encourage individual stewardship." Specifically, they support Action D2.2, "Provide environmental education training opportunities for educators in the region."

Interested in attending SciREN as an educator or researcher? There are two annual networking events in North Carolina: SciREN Triangle in Raleigh, and SciREN Coast near Morehead City. 

APNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) actions addressed:

  • D2.2: Provide environmental education training opportunities for educators in the region.
Activity Grade Levels Standards (NC) Standards (VA) Link Description
Blue Crab Unit   (APNEP and Duke Nicholas School of the Environment - Amy Sauls &  Dan Rittschof) 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Bio.2.1.2, Bio.2.2.1, Bio.2.2.2, Bio.3.5.1, Bio.3.5.2, EEn.2.4.2, EEn.2.7.1, EEn.2.8, CE.E.1 BIO.6.a,BIO.6.c, BIO.6.e, BIO.7.c, BIO.7.e, BIO.8.a, BIO.8.d, CE.1.a, ES.10.a PDF Learn about blue crabs through four lesson plans: Classification & Identification of Blue Crabs, Blue Crab Life Cycle, Blue Crabbing, & Salinity in NC Estuaries.
North Carolina's Underwater Grasses: A Lesson Plan on Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment  (APNEP) 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Bio.2.1.1, Bio.2.1.2, Bio.2.1.3, Bio.2.2.1, Bio.2.2.2, EEn.2.7.1, EEn.2.7.2, EEn. 2.7.3, HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-3, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-ESS3-3 BIO.7.b, BIO.8.b, BIO.8.d PDF North Carolina's underwater grasses are used as a case study to demonstrate how environmental monitoring and assessment can help evaluate an ecosystem's condition.
The Pocosin Project  (APNEP) 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 5.L.2.1, 5.L.2.2, 5.L.2.3, 6.L.2.1, 6.L.2.2, 6.L.2.3, 8.E.1.1, 8.L.3.1 5.5.c, 5.6.c, 6.5.f, 6.7.a, 6.7.d, 6.7.f, 6.9.b, 6.9.c, LS.4.d, LS.6.b, LS.6.d, LS.8.a, LS.9.b, LS.9.c PDF Six hands-on stations that educators can use as an introduction to pocosin habitats, unique wetland systems that derive their name from the Algonquian word meaning "swamp on a hill."
Wetlands Race  (APNEP) K-8th     PDF Use this game as a fun way to introduce the topic of wetlands, estuaries, or seagrass. 
Food Chain Frenzy  (APNEP) 5th 5.L.2.1, 5.L.2.2, 5.L.2.3, 5.NBT.1, 5-LS2. 5.5.c, 5.6.c, 6.5.f, 6.7.a, 6.7.e, 5.NBT.1,  5-LS2-1



This lesson plan allows students to explore food chains in North Carolina's estuaries and surrounding salt marshes through hands-on and group activities.