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Release Date: September 12, 2013
Contact: Merrith Baughman,e-mail us, 402-223-3514
Back to School – in America’s National Parks
National Park Service Helps Teachers Make Learning Fun & Relevant
Beatrice - Teachers across the nationhave 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 Homestead National Monument of America, into neighborhood classrooms. The new “Teachers” section 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.
“Homestead National Monument of America has long welcomed Southeast Nebraska area students to the park for field trips,” said Mark Engler, superintendent of Homestead National Monument of America. “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 the most beautiful places in the United States and its territories.”
Homestead National Monument of America is proud to offer lesson plans for grades K-12 in such varied topics as the Homestead Act of 1862, Frontier Education, Homesteaders, Prairie Animals, Insects, and Plants as well as units on Prairie Fire and Water Quality. Additionally, Homestead National Monument of America teaches on these same topics to thousands of virtual student visitors annually through distance learning. So whether you are interested in visiting the park in person, virtually or reqesting one of our traveling trunks, Homestead has something to offer all teachers and students.
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 in parks for nearly three million students, in addition to the 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 also 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 and, each summer, dozens of teachers participate in professional development opportunities in parks, creating education materials based on park resources through the Teacher Ranger Teacher program.
To learn more about the National Park Service’s education programs, visit www.nps.gov/teachers.
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.
About the Homestead National Monument of America. Homestead National Monument of America is located four miles west of Beatrice, or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit www.nps.gov/home. Keep up with the latest information at Homestead National Monument of America by following us on Twitter @HomsteadNM and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).