Wildland fire provides a rich context for education because understanding of fire requires integration of several important concepts: properties of matter, ecosystem fluctuations and cycles, plant and animal habitat and survival, and human interactions with ecosystem.
FireWorks is an educational program about the science of wildland fire, designed for students in grades 1-10. The program consists of a curriculum and a trunk of materials. FireWorks has been used extensively in the northern Rocky Mountains and interest in the curricula is widespread. Content focuses on the physical science of fire behavior, human influences on fire, and fire ecology in the northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades. The curriculum has also been adapted to Colorado ecology, implemented by Colorado Project Learning Tree and ecology of the Missouri River country.
Ecologists from the RMRS Fire, Fuel and Smoke Science Program regularly collaborate with educators throughout the West. Recently, they met with teachers and specialists from the Plumas Unified School District and Plumas National Forest in Quincy, California to develop a FireWorks curriculum tailored to the Sierra Nevada region.