Hands-on learning is a highly effective teaching method for topics in STEM disciplines. Unfortunately, environmental science teachers sometimes lack the tools to engage their students in hands-on experimentation in real-world research outside of the classroom. Partnerships between science professionals and teachers can help address this disparity, and operating within an established community science program is an excellent way for teachers and professionals to provide K–12 students opportunities for involvement in real-world research. We developed a four-stage program that maximizes the benefits of bringing together members of the professional and academic sectors; the stages include Learn, Collect, Report, and Communicate (LCRC). The goal of this program is to bring science professionals into a K–12 classroom to emphasize the importance of conducting research using the scientific method, to promote responsible community science, improve students' data literacy and critical thinking skills, and highlight the relevance of science communication. We demonstrate this program with a case study using water quality research in high school AP classes. Evaluations of the case study indicate this framework, and the engagement with science professionals alters students' perceptions of science and scientists while giving them the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue scientific endeavors.