Paper No. 264-7
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
WE HAVE A LESSON PLAN FOR THAT! TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS TO BE BETTER EDUCATORS THROUGH PUBLIC INTERACTION AND LESSON PLAN DEVELOPMENT
Effective communication is a crucial skill for scientists, especially when it comes to relaying the importance of their work to an increasingly skeptical public. Unfortunately, scientists often struggle in their ability to engage non-scientists about the importance of their work. Recognizing this growing disconnect between scientist and the public, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is training the next generation of scientists in the fields of interpretation, science communication, and education outreach. Recent college graduates with science degrees are hired through the Geoscientists in the Parks (GIP) internship program and work to develop high school lesson plans that utilize data from the fields of geology, paleontology, ecology, and climate science. Studies have shown that students are more engaged and can better relate to and understand new concepts and information when presented with lessons that are based on “real-world” data sets and scenarios. These lesson plans follow Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards and are made available online through the National Park Service Education Portal for teachers across the country to use in their classrooms. The goal is to equip young scientists with the communicative skills needed to succeed while helping to inspire the next generation to be actively knowledgeable citizen scientists.