Back to School in the National Parks of America - National Park Service Helps Teachers Make Learning Fun and Relevant

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Date: September 12, 2013
Contact: Barbara Dougan, Education Specialist , 508-255-3421 ext. 16

[Wellfleet] - Teachers across Cape Cod 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 Cape Cod National Seashore, into neighborhood classrooms. The new "Teachers" section of the National Park Service website at 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.

Cape Cod National Seashore has long welcomed students to the park for field trips," said George Price, superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore. Cape Cod National Seashore posted an Earth Science lesson plan on the website, Beaches in Motion. It includes classroom lessons, field trip activities, and a post assessment modeling activity. Classroom lessons include digital presentations, readings, and hands-on Earth science fun. The beach field trip activities advance measuring, observation, and data recording skills and lead to further understanding of Cape Cod's coastal vulnerability. The modeling activity requires students to demonstrate their understanding of how agents of change like sea level rise, coastal storms, and human activities affect beaches and dunes. Price added, "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 about literature using a lesson plan from Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, borrow a traveling trunk from Lava Beds National Monument, chat online with a ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park, or visit 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 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 and educational institutions 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.

To learn more about how the National Park Service's education programs, visit


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks, working with communities across the nation to help preserve history and nature, and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at Visit us on Facebook,Twitter, and YouTube

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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