The middle school where Carrie teaches acquired handheld Labquest computers and probes by Vernier, purchased with bond money. They represent amazing power and potential for the faculty and students, but the time and effort involved in learning to use the equipment or finding ways to integrate it into the classroom presented a challenge.
Aware of the Fund For Teachers Fellowship opportunities, she decided to use that challenge as the central idea for outlining a proposal of her own, and submitted it. The premise of it follows, in her own words.
The Yellowstone Project Takes Shape
As a science educator I want to learn better methods for bringing science into personal perspective for students, how to better demonstrate scientific exploration and methodology, demonstrate the excitement potential in scientific fieldwork and inspire the passion for science and discovery that I possess in every student I teach. As the importance of science and technology grows in modern societies, so does the importance of inspiring future generations to understand its implications, take interest in and consider careers in those fields. I also want to maximize the resources my school has and help fellow science educators to do the same.
Through my fellowship, I can show students and colleagues the wonders of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring environments, how easy and manageable the LabQuest is and how it can be used to positively impact learning.
– Carrie Clark
Why Yellowstone National Park?
Every year I excitedly teach about Yellowstone National Park—exciting because it’s centered over a hot spot in the Earth’s mantle. A great majority of the science I teach can be explored and experienced in this vast wilderness region. It’s time for me to see it in person as a teacher-scientist, to collect data with the wonderful equipment our school has at its disposal, translate this into practical lessons and inspiration for my students and fellow teachers.
In this one location I can engage in scientific inquiry into many areas!
– Carrie Clark