The Wyoming Department of Education has contracted with an internet company to post lesson plans online to help teachers meet statewide academic standards.

State School Superintendent Judy Catchpole said the three-year contract with Copernicus Education Gateway allows teachers to exchange lessons and activities the state agrees will help students to graduate.

Teachers, parents, and students can access the internet depository by clicking on a Copernicus web site that offers the Wyoming Education Gateway, known as “WEdGate,” at www.edgate.com. All lessons must be approved by the state Department of Education before being posted on the Wyoming gateway.

Parents and students can use the site to look at lesson plans. School districts can use the site to contact parents and students on student progress and homework assignments.

The material is transmitted through the Wyoming Equality Network, a program started in 1998 between the state and US West, now Qwest, to link all Wyoming schools with advanced technology, officials said.

A review of the network’s usage after school shows teachers are seeking out internet resources, Catchpole said. “Our usage reports show a tremendous increase in online time by teachers. Here is a web resource tailored to Wyoming needs,” she said.

The state plans to train teachers on how to use the site. Work has begun with teachers to place lesson plans and activities on the site, Catchpole said.

WEdGate also will feature national internet projects sponsored by NASA, the Smithsonian Institution, Encyclopaedia Britannica, U.S. Department of Education, Voyager Online, and others.

The $193,000 contract is paid for by the federal government, state officials said.