National Parks: Treasures for Teachers – Teacher Workshops

Chances are good that you have been to a national park.  And chances are that you have been to the gift shop.  But, have you ever been to a national park workshop?  Currently 35 national parks offer teacher workshops.

There’s no better way to bring math, science and history into real life than to experience them in action. Many of these workshops are designed to help teachers use park resources in the classroom, or to prepare classes for a park visit. Most workshops are accredited and can be taken for college credit, and are structured to meet the needs of today’s teacher – teaching the standards while making the material engaging and relevant. (NPS Workshops)

The purpose of the workshops is to build strong partnerships with teachers, so they understand the resources available to them at the national parks (and monuments).  

What sort of professional development opportunities are available?

One such teacher workshop coming soon is “Phenology: Students as Citizen Scientists;”  from October 18-20, 2013.  Teachers will learn to use the seasons to teach science and connect kids to their own backyards! 

One workshop hosted this past summer was hosted in Glacier National Park.  Park researchers took teachers out in the field to learn about climate change.

Workshops range from snowshoeing in the Rocky Mountains to hiking to an observation tower to view alligators and turtles.  

How much do these workshops cost?

Many workshops have no fee.  Donations have provided for teacher lodging, meals, and materials.  In some cases, teachers will need to pay a nominal fee ($50) to offset the cost of class materials.  Most workshops last 3 days/2 nights, so the small cost is well worth it.  In most cases, the entrance fee to the park is waived as well.  

Where can I find workshops near me?

LearnNPS is a very helpful website to find most information.  However, I have found that not all Teacher Workshops are listed here.  I would suggest starting with LearnNPS and then going directly to a specific national park website.  From there, click “For Teachers” on the left margin.  By clicking “Professional Development”, you will see if that park has Teacher Workshops and/or Teacher-Ranger-Teacher programs.  

 

National Parks: Treasures for Teachers is a seven part series  For seven weeks, we will explore the resources for teachers (most of which are free!).  Read on and experience your America in a new way.

  1. Teacher Workshops
  2. Traveling Trunks and other Materials on Loan
  3. Field Trips and Institutes
  4. Guest Speakers
  5. virtual Field Trips and other Online Opportunities
  6. Curriculum Resources
  7. Teacher-Ranger-Teacher
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Posted on September 8, 2013, in All Posts, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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