Following their summer institute, teachers and students at the eleven CREST-participating schools are heading back into the classroom. Once in school, the students and teachers will begin meeting as a Sustainable Learning Community (SLC). These groups, consisting of teachers and students at each participating school, were formed during the CREST trainings this past summer. Each SLC has developed timelines to complete CREST projects, and members serve as mentors to new students participating in the CREST program. The model also encourages collaboration between students and teachers and provides students with leadership experience.

The CREST Summer Institute concentrated upon increasing students’ (and teachers’) familiarity with the use and capabilities of technological tools. Focusing on three technologies and the tools with which these technologies are used — GPS units for GIS mapping; video cameras and iMovie software for digital storytelling; and web design coding to incorporate these technologies into a internet-based display — students will now return to class and, with new skills in hand, continue developing projects that they began during the previous school year.