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Contact: Bradley Block, 605-673-8330
Jewel Cave National Monument is gearing up for the academic year with an educational workshop for teachers entitled "Explore and Discover Cave Education." The workshop derives from Project Underground, a national curriculum for educators of kindergarten through high school levels. The workshop is slated for September 9 - 11, with sessions starting Friday evening and ending late morning on Sunday.An academic credit hour is available for interested participants.
Project Underground, highlighting cave and karst educational programs, has been used in National Parks across the nation, including Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and Timpanogos Cave in Utah. Superintendent Bonnie Schwartz states, "Jewel Cave added its name to the workshop list in 2014 and had high participation numbers. Schools in the local area and across the state have asked for another workshop, so the NPS Centennial year seems like an appropriate time to conduct some additional teacher training."
The workshop offers ten sessions that mix science with adventure. Participating teachers and educators will be expected to take part in learning about bats, belly-crawl mapping, and a host of other lively sessions. The learned activities create an awareness of cave and karst areas, as well as a better understanding of human impact on natural resources. Complementing South Dakota content standards through general science and mathematics, participants can take learned skills back to their classrooms and enhance current lesson plans.
Schwartz further comments, "Part of the Centennial mission is to create the next generation of park visitors, and we are excited to host another teacher's workshop in order to engage even more youth audiences." Educators, teachers, naturalists, and outdoor learning instructors will have the opportunity for both in-class sessions and field activities. At the conclusion of the workshop, teachers receive an extensive curriculum guide for future use.
Workshop activities and sessions begin on Friday night, September 9th at 7 p.m. Field and classroom activities take place all day on Saturday. The workshop concludes on Sunday morning, September 11th around 11 a.m. Space is limited to 15 participants, and reservations are required in advance.Workshop materials, activity supplies, and curriculum guides are provided free of charge to participants.
For more information or to register for the workshop, interested participants are encouraged to call the visitor center at 605-673-8300.