National Park Service Helps Teachers Make Learning Fun & Relevant
Copper Center, AK - Teachers across Alaska have a new tool to help them engage their students in classroom and place-based learning.
Today the National Park Service launched an online service for teachers that brings America's national parks, including those spread across Alaska, into neighborhood classrooms. The new "Teachers" of the National Park Service 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.
"Alaska's national parks and our visitor centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks have long welcomed students on site," said Sue Masica, the NPS regional director for Alaska."But we know that parks are often a long distance from a student's home. Now, through the new "Teachers" website, Alaska's parks and their spectacular resources are a little closer for teachers and students to learn about America's natural and cultural heritage."
Alaska's national park-based curriculum and other teacher resources are substantial and varied, and include:
The national 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 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. The NPS is working with partners, including Alaska Geographic, to expand programs and encourage the use of parks as places of learning. The NPS 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.
In addition to on-line offerings, Alaska's national parks host more than 2.4 million visitors each year. Links to all of Alaska's national park areas and regional programs are available at www.nps.gov/alaska.
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/nationalparkservice,Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtub.com/nationalparkservice.
Did You Know?
The Alaska Blackfish is unique because it has a modified esophagus capable of gas absorption, which means that it can exist off atmospheric oxygen. The Blackfish can live in oxygen-deprived stagnant tundra or muskeg pools and can also survive in moist tundra mosses for extended periods of time.