The Arboretum’s Professional Environment Educators support classroom teachers by:
Providing age-appropriate field materials and funding of $100 for classroom materials
Leading/modeling an outdoor education lesson at the start of the school year so the teacher can see how an experienced educator utilizes the outdoors;
Observing the teacher as they conduct an outdoor lesson and providing on-site assistance;
Serving as an on-call resource to provide advice and suggestions;
Leading a session at the end of the school year to further enrich standard course of study; and
Offering free opportunities to all participating students to present their data collection.
Benefits of Outdoor Education
Learning outside of the classroom has many benefits to both students and teachers. Taking your students outside weekly to participate in Project EXPLORE will help them to actively learn curricula outdoors and gain many of the benefits mentioned below.
Studies have shown that outdoor education can help improve test scores in science and other subjects including math and english, meet the needs of many different types of learners, and reduce ADHD symptoms.
Students that participate in hands-on, place-based, real-world learning, among many other benefits, have an increased sense of importance, awareness and respect for their community, and affinity for stewardship.
Outdoor education has been shown to motivate and encourage students to actively and enthusiastically engage in lessons, especially students that are not typically engaged in the indoor classroom setting.
An overwhelming number of studies have shown many benefits to students health when engaged in outdoor learning. Benefits include increased physical activity, increased happiness, enhanced cognitive abilitives, and stress reduction.
There are many social benefits to children learning together outdoors. Studies have found that students improve their social skills by learning to manage conflicts, effectively communicate and cooperate with their peers, and work together in groups.
Citizen Science engages non-professionals of all ages and backgrounds in the process of observing and reporting data to be interpreted and utilized by professional scientists.
ANYONE CAN PARTICIPATE
Participants can be anyone, anywhere. They can adults, students, kids, professionals, retirees, amateurs. Depending on the project, there is a wide range of involvement, from contributing one time data, to committing to make regular observations.
DATA CAN HELP REAL SCIENTISTS COME TO REAL CONCLUSIONS
Contributions to citizen science databases is used to inform conservation decisions, policies, peer-reviewed papers and further informs research efforts. Lost species, new species, never-before-seen findings and more have all been reported through citizen science efforts.
PARTICIPANTS USE THE SAME PROTOCOL
SO DATA CAN BE COMBINED AND BE HIGH QUALITY
Developing protocols allows scientists to compare data from hundreds and even thousands of participants. Depending on the project, the protocols can range from simple to more complicated.
THE FIELDS THAT CITIZEN SCIENCE ADVANCES ARE DIVERSE
Including ecology, astronomy, medicine, computer science, statistics, psychology, genetics, engineering, and many more. These projects can be a great way to introduce someone to a new field, or immerse someone in a field they already love.
A WIDE COMMUNITY OF SCIENTISTS AND VOLUNTEERS WORK TOGETHER AND SHARE DATA TO WHICH THE PUBLIC, AS WELL AS SCIENTISTS, HAVE ACCESS
Some citizen science databases also provide ways for participants to explore, summarize, and graphically visualize the collected data.