Housed at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the Project Dragonfly began in 1994 with the launch of the first national magazine to feature children’s investigations and discoveries. Dragonfly magazine, published by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), upended widely held assumptions about the role of children in science by publishing their research alongside the research of professional scientists. The magazine evolved into the Emmy-winning PBS children’s television series DragonflyTV produced by TPT public television. Dragonfly TV broadcast investigations by youth to a national audience. Project Dragonfly initiated Earth Expeditions, Wild Research, iSaveSpecies, and exciting master’s degree programs: the Global Field Program and the Advanced Inquiry Program. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has called Dragonfly: “A true innovation,” and “a model of what active learning should be.”
In 2000, Miami University’s Project Dragonfly launched the Dragonfly Teacher Workshops Program. These workshops allow teachers to participate in small-group inquiry online, share ideas, develop lesson plans, and interact with other educators nationwide.
In 2004, Earth Expeditions began with a mission to build an alliance of individuals with first-hand knowledge of inquiry-driven, community-based learning for the benefit of human and ecological communities, student achievement, and global understanding. Earth Expeditions courses are offered for graduate credit with students traveling to ecological and cultural hotspots worldwide.
In 2009, Project Dragonfly initiated the Global Field Program (GFP), an innovative Miami master’s degree that combines online courses with travel to three biodiversity conservation hotspots worldwide over three summers. Students then engage with their communities back at home.
In 2010, the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) launched. The AIP is an online Miami master’s degree that combines experiential learning on grounds at U.S. community learning institutions with courses in web-based learning communities. The AIP connects students to a broad network of educators, scientists, community leaders and allows students to use inquiry not only as a tool for integrated science learning, but also as a powerful agent for social change and ecological stewardship. AIP sites are zoos and botanical gardens located in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.