I taught for 26 years in a rural school and community. This allowed me more autonomy to use the resources of my community to teach relevant, project-and place-based units. I lived in a town with about 2200 population but many of my students lived on ranches and farms. Agriculture, soil and water quality were a part of their every day lives. Weather and climate also important. The wildlife in surrounding public lands gave some students project ideas.
I drew on the expertise of the BLM, USFS, USDA, the extension office from state land grant university, and the local extraction industry.
In fact, when one of the coal mines about 22 miles from town was renovating their chemistry lab, I inherited whatever I could carry off! Lots of glassware and some equipment although most of that became a maker type of project.
My chemistry class was themed using fresh water-water quality, habitat for fish, all requires a preferred chemical environment. The river ran though limestone so we could talk about acid mine drainage in our state and how limestone naturally cleans up the stream-if not overwhelmed with contaminants.
The local geology included a shale which posed problems for building contracters. We were able to use that as projects in Earth & Space Science.
What are concerns or topics that your community is dealing with? What is the local industry? Are you a commuter rural community? That in itself can produce projects such as energy for commuting, mass transit-would that help, fuel economy and vehicles that fit both good for commuting and the local climate/weather. What types of recreation are preferred in your community? There may be projects involved with that. We have mountain bike trails, OHV trails, so the construction of those, their impacts on evnironment, are all possible topics. Water is always a good project. Is their increased algal blooms? Why? How will drought affect your ocmmunity? How will spring run-off flooding? Your local water treatment-pre-use and after use can give your students projects. Being rural, be sure your focus is to help the community!
I also worked with the Agriculture instructor to incoporate student projects into my science classes as well. One student who now works for the state's department of wildlife, attempted to grow trout for a chemistry (water quality), biology, and agriculture project. He was successful after many trials.
Also, many museums have virtual presence online with educational components. There are scientists you can Skype or Zoom into your classroom. NSTA offers suggestions and freebies as well.
I would be happy to answer more specifically! Let me know!