JASON Learning’s Student & Teacher Argonaut Program
One of the most unique and exciting features of JASON Learning’s comprehensive approach to transforming K-12 STEM teaching and learning is the “Argonaut Program.” JASON’s Student and Teacher Argonauts—named after the band of explorers in Greek mythology who accompanied Jason in his quest to find the Golden Fleece—travel to research locations around the world to work side-by-side with scientists and engineers, many of whom they’ve come to know through JASON’s curricula. In doing so, they become the eyes and ears for their peers back home, experiencing firsthand what it’s like to pursue a STEM career, sharing that knowledge when they return to their local communities, and making critical real-world connections to the STEM topics they’ve learned about in the JASON classroom curricula. Returning Argonauts are often given “rock-star” treatment by their districts, celebrated for their achievements and recognized as STEM role models in their communities.
The Argonaut expedition is an incredible adventure and can be a true life-changing experience for participating students and teachers. As such, each spot on the team is highly coveted. Every year students and teachers apply for the program through JASON, competing against their peers around the world for the chance to be on the next JASON Argonaut team.
Each Student and Teacher Argonaut applies through a highly competitive and rigorous selection process, submitting an extensive array of background information that provides testament to their character, dedication, academic abilities, communication skills, and most importantly, enthusiasm for science. Their personal essays, video statements, reference letters, and academic records are reviewed by a committee of JASON staff, educators, and school administrators familiar with the program, who score the applications and make the final team selections. Careful attention is given to assembling an Argonaut team that reflects the incredible diversity of the JASON community, ensuring that students and teachers at home can easily identify with and relate to their peers on the expedition.
Argonauts work hard to document and share their expedition experiences with the world, and with their communities back home. Each Argonaut takes photos, shoots video clips, and contributes to JASON’s blog. With help from JASON staff, they post to Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis, generating awareness and excitement about their excursion.
Since the founding of JASON over the 26 years ago, over 500 students and teachers have participated in the Argonaut Program.