Welcome to the “In Their Eyes: Conservation + Comics” Project!
This unique NGSS-aligned STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) project uses art to teach science and was created after the team leads recognized a need for diverse representation in STEM fields as well as positive nature experiences for youth. Research shows that almost all environmental education programs have positive results regarding conservation behaviors and that science identity is a strong predictor of students’ future scientific pursuits. This project’s goals are to create a program that positively impacts students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding conservation and their identity as scientists.
By using innovative tools such as art, games, and comics the programmatic leads hope to connect youth to conservation science in a manner that will make a lasting impact.
Meet the Team
Samantha Wynns is a conservation biologist and science educator with the Great Basin Institute and National Park Service. Sam both does science and communicates science at Cabrillo National Monument.
Dr. Claire Meaders
Dr. Claire Meaders is a biologist and assistant teaching-professor at the University of California - San Diego. She studies how students learn to contribute to more effective science education techniques.
Dr. Jaye Gardiner
Dr. Jaye Gardiner is a cancer biologist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. She is an artist and illustrator, and is heavily involved in science communication and STEAM education.
This detailed instruction manual is intended for educators who wish to use part- or all of the curriculum developed for this project. In it are instructions for both virtual and in-person learning, and this project supports both formats as well as a hybrid-approach.
Download the instruction manual here
The team who developed “In Their Eyes: Conservation + Comics” brings you ... drumroll please... scientist trading cards!
Download Set1 of the Cards
Download Set2 of the Cards
A lack of exposure to diverse STEM professionals is directly linked to lower diversity in STEM fields – youth need to see role models like them in order to follow a career pathway. These trading cards serve as one method of increasing exposure to traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM, such as women and people of color.
Download individual accessible pdfs of the crossword puzzle answers and National Park Service photo release forms (only needed if participating in a field trip) as well as scientific poster-examples for your students here.
Research and Results
Through the collection and analysis of survey data from the pilot cohort, the design team was able to measure changing attitudes and behaviors regarding conservation and identity as scientists. Initial results demonstrate positive learning outcomes and decreases in scientist stereotypes held by students.
If you are interested in collecting and analyzing data from your classroom, contact us at CABR_education@nps.gov.
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Last updated: February 22, 2022