National Park Service Helps Teachers Make Learning Fun and Relevant
Contact: Environmental Education Program: Allyson Gantt, 305-242-7878
Contact: General Park Information:, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media contact: Mary Plumb, 305-242-7017
HOMESTEAD, Florida - Teachers across south Florida have a new tool to help them engage their students in classroom and place-based learning.
Today the National Park Service (NPS) launched a new online service for teachers that brings America’s national parks, including Everglades National Park, into neighborhood classrooms. The new "Teachers" section of the NPS website at www.nps.gov/teachers provides a one-stop shop for curriculum-based lesson plans, traveling trunks, maps, activities, distance learning, and other resources. All of the materials draw from the spectacular natural landscapes and authentic places preserved in America’s national parks.
“For forty-two years, Everglades National Park has welcomed south Florida area students to the park for environmental education field trips,” said Dan Kimball, Superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks. “And now, through the new “Teachers” National Park Service website, all 401 national parks are throwing open the doors and inviting teachers and students to learn through a wide variety of resources.”
Everglades National Park’s Environmental Education Program offers ranger-led field trips, professional development, more than 50 curriculum-based lesson plans for grades K-8, a media loan library, a traveling trunk about the Miccosukee Indians, and a video series to introduce students to the park's key habitats. This information is available on the park’s website and is now searchable on the national website.
The new “Teachers” section of the National Park Service website includes learning about literature using a lesson plan from Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, borrowing atraveling trunk from Lava Beds National Monument, chatting online with a ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park, or visiting Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park. The site is searchable by location, keyword, and more than 125 subjects, from archeology, to biology, to Constitutional law. Teachers will, for the first time, be able to rate NPS-provided content. In addition to park-created content, the site also features educational materials created by NPS national programs like the National Register of Historic Places and its award-winning Teaching with Historic Places series of 147 lesson plans.
The new “Teachers” section of the NPS website is just one part of the National Park Service’s ongoing commitment to education. Every year, national parks offer more than 57,000 educational programs that serve nearly 3 million students in addition to 563,000 interpretive programs attended by 12.6 million visitors. At launch, the website offered more than 700 lesson plans, 140 field trips, 50 traveling trunks, 44 distance learning opportunities, 16 teachers’ institutes, 47 online galleries, and 100 teacher workshops, and will add new content as it is developed. The site offers teachers the opportunity to rate the materials provided.
The National Park Service is working with partners and educational institutions to expand programs and encourage the use of parks as places of learning. The agency has partnered with the Department of Education to integrate national park resources into core curriculums. Each summer, teachers across the country are hired to work in parks to develop curriculum-based programs based on park resources through the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program.
Everglades National Park’s Environmental Education Program has reached several generations of young Floridians with information about the significance of the Everglades environment and the need for diligence in assuring its preservation for future generations. It has been nationally recognized as a significant model for promoting effective understanding of the regional environment and fostering long term environmental stewardship.
To learn more about the National Park Service’s education programs, visit www.nps.gov/teachers. More information about Everglades National Park’s Environmental Education Program is also available at www.nps.gov/ever/forteachers
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/
Did You Know?
In the 1800s John James Audubon noted that the sky was often darkened by the flocks of numerous birds above. Since the early 20th century, around 93% of the wading bird population has vanished. Much of the wildlife left in south Florida depends on Everglades National Park for a home.