Paper No. 294-6
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
GEOLOGY OF THE GOLD BELT BYWAY: EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH TO YOUNG SCIENTISTS IN SOUTHERN COLORADO
The Junior Explorer activity books published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are intended to educate children and their families about science, natural resources, and historical sites, as well as to promote interest and awareness of conservation of public lands and natural resources. The Gold Belt Byway in south-central Colorado connects many sites of great historical and scientific significance that are discussed in the BLM’s newest Junior Explorer book, Geology of the Gold Belt Byway. This book includes visits to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, the mining district of Cripple Creek and Victor, fossil quarries in the Garden Park Area, a trace fossil site at Indian Springs, and the Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River. In visiting and reading about these locations, children will learn the geologic history of Colorado, and how geologists and paleontologists interpret the rock and fossil records to reconstruct that history. The target age group is between 8 and 12, although educational activities are included for students as young as 5. An emphasis is placed on reasoning and building vocabulary while catering to a variety of learning styles. Additionally, content is designed to address Colorado Department of Education Common Core Standards in Earth Science for grades 1 to 7. The book is a product of collaboration between the Geocorps America program, the Royal Gorge Field Office of the BLM, the National Park Service at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and the Gold Belt Byway Association.