• Youth make measurements near the water at Point Reyes as part of a survey of biodiversity in the park

    Interpretation and Education

Learning Quest

Learning begins where you are located. The National Park Service is present in every state and in U. S. Territories. Historic landmarks, national register sites, and park units preserve the stories and landscapes of America's heritage. Whether in a classroom or a visitor in parks, we invite you to explore our ranger-led and on-line programs for teachers, families, and students of any age.

To become familiar with learning resources, take a learning quest.


Quest #1: Visit Teaching with Historic Places

Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.

Visit Teaching with Historic Places


Quest #2: Visit National Fossil Day

National Fossil Day is a celebration organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.


Visit National Fossil Day

a bowl in a museum collection

Quest #3: Visit Teaching with Museum Collections

Teaching with Museum Collections object-based learning emphasizes the links between the "real things;" - National Park Service collections and America’s history. Collections connect students to their past, rich and varied cultures, momentous events, inspiring ideas, and the places where the nation’s history happened.

Visit Teaching with Museum Collections

the milky way showing in the night sky

Quest #4: Explore the Night Sky

Starry night skies and natural darkness are important components of the special places the National Park Service protects. National parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide an excellent opportunity for the public to experience this endangered resource.

Explore the Night Sky

two youth looking into microscopes

Quest #5: Learn about Research Learning Centers in Parks

Nineteen Research Learning Centers (RLCs) serve a park or regional network of parks. Many are physical places with laboratories, work spaces, and housing for researchers and students. Others are virtual and consist of web portals with research databases, educational materials, and multimedia presentations on scientific topics.

Learn about Research Learning Centers in Parks

people at a camp, with hiking gear, looking at the camera

Quest #6: Learn about A Trail for Every Classroom

Modeled after a Forest for Every Classroom in Vermont, a Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) is a three-season, multi-disciplinary professional development series for educators aimed at providing the inspiration, knowledge and skills to transform classroom teaching into effective and exciting place-based education.

Learn about A Trail for Every Classroom

A view of the customizable Ranger Station available to WebRangers

Quest #7: Be a Webranger

WebRangers is the National Park Service's on-line Junior Ranger program for kids of all ages. If you love National Parks, this site is for you. If you are new to National Parks, we hope this site helps you experience how wonderful they can be. Kids can customize their Ranger Station, earn rewards, and play learning activities.

Be a WebRanger

An image of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 1963

Quest #8: Learn about the Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement

This National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary tells the powerful story of how and where the centuries-long struggle of African Americans to achieve the bright promise of America culminated in the mid-20th century in a heroic campaign we call the modern civil rights movement.

Learn about the Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement

Civil War 150 logo

Quest #9: Visit our E-Library of Civil War on-line books

Eastern National is celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with electronic editions ofeParks' National Park Civil War Series of books. Read them online or own your own paper edition by visiting our Civil War Series store.

Visit our E-Library of Civil War on-line books

Two teenagers

Quest #10: Manage a Youth Summit

Youth Summits provide exciting, on-site, interactive learning experiences for students and professionals. These experiences both encourage students to participate in historic preservation, conservation, and heritage tourism issues and also empower them to share their ideas with leaders in these fields.

Learn how to manage a youth summit

This is just a bit of what we offer. With partners, we offer engaging opportunities for families and classrooms. For instance, Did You Know...?

... That Elmo has taken a learning quest and is featured exploring national parks in educational videos?

... That National Park Services sponsors National History Day, Kids Days to the Parks, Junior Ranger Day, Hands on the Land, Public Lands Day, and other opportunities for service learning?

... That more than 250 teachers participate in a summer professional development experience called Teacher Ranger Teacher each year with the National Park Service? Teachers learn about park educational programs and resources while experiencing ranger talks, interpretive hikes, or monitoring wildlife in National Park Units.

...That parks across the country offer kid-friendly Junior Ranger programs and that last year, more than 800,000 children became Junior Rangers? In addition, the "Songs for Junior Rangers" CD has been awarded the Gold Seal from the Parent's Choice Foundation in Spring 2013. The set includes a 20-page illustrated booklet of lyrics and photos, and a poster map?

...That many National Parks provide outstanding views of the night sky, and are a great place to be acquainted with our galactic neighborhood and to look beyond our planet? The National Park Service has developed a Junior Ranger Night Explorer program, encouraging young park visitors to explore the dark side of their national parks.

...That Research Learning Centers (RLCs) provide the opportunity for educators to bring real-world, place-based science to students in accordance with state education standards? RLCs can help create an engaging and relevant experience for your students. In 2012, the RLCs partnered with over 200 K-12 schools and other educational organizations.

...That Hands on the Land, a national network of field classrooms, connects students, teachers, families, and volunteers to these special places all across America? Within the communities of Hands on the Land sites, public, non-profit, and private partners customize hands-on experiences using local natural, historical, and archaeological settings to bring classroom learning to life.

... That the National Park Service (NPS) is engaging in "Biodiversity Discovery," a variety of efforts, such as bioblitzes, in which members of the public, including scientists, students, and visitors work together to discover living organisms in the parks?

Whether you are a teacher searching for classroom materials or a student doing research or service learning, your will find you the national parks service has a great to offer.

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