“When am I ever going to use this?”
Every student at least once--
Most of us have sat in a classroom wondering when we were ever going to need to use that graph, or that chemical formula, or that historical fact. For those of us lucky enough to work as scientists with the National Park Service, we’ve learned that life on this planet is integrated. Science is too.
So, for example, a Natural Resource Specialist in Arizona who needs to restore a marsh in that arid climate, must know (at least a little!) about many different topics. They may learn about the aquatic environment and the animals drinking from the marsh in school. As they work, their education on the historic use of the marsh that led to high chemical contaminants, and the current legal water rights for those downstream, continues. National Park sites are perfect places to learn about the different topics, and see how they all play together.
These pages highlight the science education you can use from parks, or in parks if you’re close by. Whether you’re a teacher looking for lesson plans or a student looking for fun experiments to do, check out these links. And when you’re ready – head over to the For Researchers and Get Involved pages to find an internship!
Check out these labs to do in the classroom or at home!
Teachers will find a lot of lesson plans and resources for distance education from across the country.
Interested in having a ranger visit your class, traveling trunks, or help on your field trip? Check here for that and more.
Jump into Science Now
Science for Kids
Frontiers for Young Minds is an international online science journal reviewed by kids. Check out articles about science in parks.
Explore Archeology for Kids
Want to know more about what archeologists do? Do these activities at home!
Find out all you need to know about getting involved with citizen science in the National Park Service
NPS on iNaturalist
#FindYourPark on this list at our partner, iNaturalist. No matter 1 photo or a whole bioblitz, our scientists want to see your observations!
Learn how scientists discover our past to better understand and preserve our future.
Whether historic preservation is your career or hobby, there are many opportunities to learn from the professionals in the NPS.
Science Ed Video Series
Outside Science (inside parks)
This video series highlights how youth are getting involved in park science.
NCPTT - Videos
Check out this catalog of training videos from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite's Nature Notes video series is an excellent way to learn about the science happening there. Not to mention the gorgeous scenery!
Last updated: September 8, 2023