Meet the originators of SANITY, a collaboration dedicated to getting students out of the classroom and into nature.

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Photo: AZPM

Teachers Voices: Margaret Wilch & Katrina Mangin

Margaret Wilch is a science teacher at Tucson High Magnet School. Katrina Mangin is the director of Science Education Outreach at the University of Arizona.

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With the pressure to memorize scientific formulas, theories, and terms, it's easy for students to lose sight of how those concepts were discovered in the first place -- through hands-on scientific research, in the field or in the laboratory.

Taking science out of textbooks and back into nature is the fundamental concept behind SANITY, which stands for "Science and Nature in Tandem for Youth". It was co-founded in 2006 by Margaret Wilch, a biology teacher at Tucson High Magnet School, and Katrina Mangin, the director of Science Education Outreach at the University of Arizona.

Tucson High science students are immersed in independent research projects that take them across the street to work in University of Arizona science laboratories. In coordination with a research methods course, students also have the opportunity to attend a two-week summer field research experience in the Chiricahua Mountains.

Margaret and Katrina also discuss how empowering young inquisitive high school students with scientific research tools and concepts can be the catalyst for future academic success.

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona Tucson Values Teachers

To hear more stories, visit the Teachers' Voices archive.

(Funding for the production of Teachers' Voices is provided by Wells Fargo and the University of Arizona College of Education. The series is produced by Matt Felix for Arizona Spotlight.)