DRI Science Alive

K-12 Teacher Professional Development and Curriculum

About Science Alive

Science Alive conducts education and engagement for the Desert Research Institute, a global scientific research and development institute under the Nevada System of Higher Education. The mission of Science Alive is to support PreK-12 educators in science-based, environmental education by providing the tools, resources, and knowledge they need, so all students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work, live and contribute in our community. Science Alive achieves our mission by providing inquiry-based STEM curriculum through our Green Boxes, offering Educator Trainings and Workshops throughout the school year, and through School Support in the form of speakers, field trips, and special opportunities.

Science Alive display table

We serve schools in every county across the state of Nevada by providing educators with free professional development or access to our Green Box program. At the start of 2015, we have served over 400 schools in Nevada (public, private, charter, or homeschool). Currently, 75% of the schools we serve are Title One schools, which are schools that receive federal assistance to close the achievement gap between low-income students and other students. Over 50% of the students we reach are on a federal assisted free and reduced lunch program (FRL) because of the their low-income status, and almost 20% are second language English learners (ELL).

DRI’s outreach and education activities started in 2000 and was named GreenPower before changing the name in 2017 to Science Alive.  Back in 2000, GreenPower focused mainly on renewable energy and conservation education. The partnership was primarily funded by the NV Energy Foundation as well as the generosity of customers who voluntarily donate a few dollars each month to their NV Energy electric bill for the program. These 100-percent tax-deductible donations support renewable energy education for Nevada’s students.

In 2012, GreenPower expanded their scope to focus on supporting Nevada’s pre-K-12 educators in science-based, environmental education by providing the tools, resources, and knowledge they need, so all students could acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work, live and contribute in our community.

With the name change, in 2017, ScienceAlive expanded their scope to include neighboring states, California and Arizona, as well as promoting more STEAM based activities, field experience for teachers, and leading the only K-12 energy education program for the state, EnergySmart Education.

DRI’s ScienceAlive aims to increase scientific knowledge and understanding of the earth’s environment, promoting preservation of diverse ecosystems, advancing responsible resource management, and improving human health and welfare.

The NVEnergy Foundation continues to be the primary sponsor of ScienceAlive, but is also funded by many more sponsors and supporters, which you can find listed here.

  • All students can learn and deserve an effective teacher.
  • Every teacher deserves to have access to free curriculum and materials that are aligned to the current educational standards.
  • Educators training fellow educators builds capacity, professionalism, and perspective.
  • Sharing resources and engaging partners builds opportunity, ownership, and expertise.

Leah Madison
STEM Education Program Lead
Phone: 775.673.7413
Email: leah.madison@dri.edu

Craig Rosen 
Community Relations and Professional Development Administrator
Phone: 702.862.5332
Email: Craig.Rosen@dri.edu

Shawna Witt 
STEM Education Coordinator
Email: Shawna.Witt@dri.edu 

A.J. Long 
Robotics and STEM Education Administrator
Phone: 775.673.7928
Email: AJ.Long@dri.edu

Claire Parker 
STEM Coordinator for the Nevada Robotics Program
Email: Claire.Parker@dri.edu


Resources for the Classroom

We offer a variety of PreK-12 STEM education resources targeted at classroom use. All of our offerings are FREE and can be used by any Nevada educator, both formal and informal.

Green Box and the materials


EnergySmart 4th Grade Program Participant


  •  Educator Trainings:  We host a variety of educator workshops offering professional development credit hours. Our trainings include hands-on activities, exciting keynote speakers and take home resources. Click here to read more!

  • Online Resources: We have a library of educational videos, handouts, readings and STEM career-ties that can be used to support classroom learning. All are free to download.

  • Nevada Robotics: We offer robotics focused educator trainings, robotics team and club support and robotics education resources to Nevada educators.

  • STEM 2 Go: STEM 2 Go packs are standards-aligned, hands-on STEM activity packs designed for teachers to send home with their students to enhance STEM learning at home. Coming soon to a classroom near you! Interested? Email AJ.Long@dri.edu


Resources Beyond the Classroom

STEM learning doesn’t have to stop after a student leaves the classroom! We offer STEM education resources and programs with our partners in education that can be used by formal and informal educators, community organizations and families.

  • STEM Kits: Designed to be used in a variety of settings, STEM Kits engage students in fun, fast, hands-on activities that can be administered in less than 1 hour! All materials are included and very little prep or setup is required! Check one out today via our Green Box reservation site! Click here to read more!

STEM Kit Displayed


  • Family STEM Nights: In partnership with Sierra Nevada Journeys, virtual Family STEM Nights are a great way for schools to bring families together to explore simple, at-home science activities. 

Sierra Nevada Journeys Logo

Multi-colored cups are stacked on a table as part of a Family STEM Night activity.



  • Online Resources: Find printable STEM activity sheets and readings, as well as fun science videos from our YouTube channel.



We, of the Desert Research Institute, acknowledge that the places where we conduct science have deep ancestral ties to the Indigenous peoples who have inhabited these lands since time immemorial, and we recognize that these communities continue to thrive today. We respect traditional knowledge systems and Indigenous wisdom that originated before the Western scientific approach, and that evolved with and cannot be separated from these sacred lands. We value these knowledge systems that continue today as a way of understanding our intrinsic relationships with land, water, air, people, and ecosystems.


We express our gratitude for the opportunity to live and work on and in proximity to these traditional homelands. We acknowledge the original and continued sovereignty of Native nations in our region – Numu, Nuwu/Nuwuvi, Newe, and Wašiw/Wašišiw – and everywhere.


This is our commitment to conducting science with a conscience, which includes decolonizing science and rejecting the beliefs that have led to physical and cultural removal of Indigenous peoples from their traditional homelands, so that our work is respectful, collaborative, and beneficial for all. We will listen to, include, and elevate diverse ways of cultivating knowledge, and ally with Indigenous scientists.

dri and science alive logos


Science Alive Team
(775) 673-7380


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Office of Education