New Education Programs for Fire Island, New NPS Website for Teachers

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Date: September 12, 2013
Contact: Paula Valentine, 631-687-4759

Patchogue, New York - Teachers across Long Island 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 Fire Island 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.    

"Fire Island National Seashore has long welcomed thousands of Long Island students to the Sunken Forest, Watch Hill, Fire Island Wilderness, William Floyd Estate and the Fire Island Lighthouse for class field trips," said Christopher Soller, superintendent of Fire Island National Seashore, "and we've provided basic information for teachers on our website for many years." Fire Island will soon be expanding its presence on the NPS Education Portal as well. 

"We have been gradually updating our education program here at Fire Island," said Chief of Interpretation Kathy Krause. "This year's Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Andrea Montalvo, an AP Biology and Forensics teacher at Long Island's West Babylon High School, developed a comprehensive lesson plan, 'Considering Climate Change – Fire Island and Storms.' Geared for high school environmental science students and based on a very timely and controversial local issue,  this content has a much broader application." Park staff have created several other standards-based lesson plans and activities about shoreline dynamics, and barrier island habitats and wildlife, which will be added to the online database.

Through the new NPS "Teachers" website, educational materials will be available from all 401 national parks. 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 the National Park Service's education programs, visit


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For More Information:

See National Park Service news release

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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