No doubt to help improve their image after all the recall shenanigans, Toyota is pushing their environmental education promotion in schools and communities through the Toyota International Teacher Program.
The program is set up so that 26 U.S. teachers can travel to Costa Rica from June 18 - July 3, 2010 to study global conservation issues with the goal of educating and inspiring their students about the importance of environmental stewardship. Since the program launch 12 years ago, more than 600 teachers nationwide have traveled to Costa Rica, Galapagos and Japan through the program.
Below is from the press release - if you're a teacher it sounds awesome. I'd apply.
Teachers are selected through a competitive process conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and this year, for the first time in this program, selected teachers will visit the remote Corcovado National park and the Terraba-Sierpe wetlands and mangroves. They will tour community-based enterprises, as well as mega tourist projects along the South Pacific Coastal region to study sustainable development and ecotourism.
As the teachers explore Costa Rica, they'll be able to stay in touch with their students and colleagues in the U.S. through the Toyota4Education.com wiki. Designed to serve as a virtual classroom and facilitate distance learning, this social media tool enables teachers to communicate their experiences in real time with their schools and communities. Educators will blog about their Costa Rica experiences, post photos and lesson plans and correspond with their students.
After the teachers return, they will develop curriculum projects specific to their schools which will be shared with teachers from all over the U.S. in an effort to exchange ideas and lesson plans. A second program for 2010 will take teachers to the Galapagos Islands from November 20 - December 4.
Applications for this trip are being accepted through May 26. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, employed full-time as a secondary classroom teacher or teacher-librarian (grades 6-12) and have a minimum of three years teaching experience. The program is open to teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Application information for the 2010 Galapagos program can be found at www.Toyota4Education.com.