Wings Over Water

A multi-disciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education program based on Ospreys


Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are unique fishing raptors, native to Montana’s waterways. As the top predator in the aquatic food chain, Ospreys are important indicators of ecosystem health, one of many reasons researchers at UM have spent more than 10 years conducting a ground-breaking study of their health and behavior. We have assembled a team of Osprey researchers, and other experts in STEM fields, and together developed a new, innovative program called Wings Over Water (WOW).

WOW brings STEM research into middle-school classrooms, and sparks student interest in biology, physics, chemistry, math, and aerospace engineering, through an in-depth case study of the Osprey. We start by building STEM capacity for teachers, with intensive training. We train teachers to be Osprey experts, during a multi-day, interactive, and field-based summer training institute at the University of Montana. We send teachers back to their classrooms with our unique and interactive STEM curriculum, which is aligned to standards and tailored to each teacher’s needs in the classroom. During the school year, WOW staff scientists lead field trips, where students participate in authentic science research. We connect classes with expert ecologists, physicists, and engineers, allowing students to build relationships with diverse mentors.

In the WOW program, we engage students and teachers in inspiring experiences with real-life science, as they interact first-hand with their local Ospreys. In doing so, we help foster student’s life-long interest in STEM fields, and motivate them to pursue careers in STEM.

2018 Program Dates:
January 2nd-April 15th:  teacher applications accepted
June 25th-29th:  2018 curriculum training institute

Who’s eligible to apply?
Middle and high school science educators.

See more details on the program HERE.

Wings Over Water photo banner

Program expectations:
1. Participants must be flexible, collaborative, willing to contribute to curriculum development, and comfortable experimenting with ideas and making changes.
2. Those chosen to participate commit to attend the full summer workshop (scheduled for the last week of June – 6/25-29), and participate either in person or by phone/Skype in follow-up meetings.
3. Each applicant must provide contact info for one reference from his or her administrator as part of this application.

Participants must complete required assignments:
1. Create a custom version of the WOW curriculum, tailored to their teaching needs, and
2. Implement the curriculum in their classroom.

We provide housing, food, a participation stipend of $250, and $200 to offset the cost of travel to and from University of Montana.

To apply, fill out our application form below.


WOW Program Teacher Application
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