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 27 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 “Wild About Grand Canyon Wildlife” from November 6-7, 2015.
"With an amazing diversity of life zones from the North Rim boreal forest to the hot deserts of the inner canyon, Grand Canyon hosts a wide range of wildlife. This workshop will explore methods of teaching students about Grand Canyon and Arizona's diversity of wildlife, and how each is adapted to thrive in the habitat they occupy. Unique endemic and rare endangered species will be discussed."
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. Workshops fill fast, so get your registration form in soon! (**Applications accepted starting August 26th)
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?
You can go directly to a national park website or you can go to the Learn NPS site. If you go to your national park of preference, click on "Learn About the Park" on the left margin. From there, click on Education (also on the left margin). If your park offers many opportunities, you may need to scroll down to Professional Development.
National Parks: Treasures for Teachers is a five part series. We will explore the resources for teachers (most of which are free!). Read on and experience your America in a new way.
- Teacher Workshops
- Traveling Trunks and Materials on Loan
- Virtual Field Trips and other Online Opportunities
- Field Trips and Institutes