U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|GSENM Youth Program|
What’s New for 2009
Widening the Net
The curriculum is based on national education standards and field tested by dozens of teachers and student groups from surrounding communities and around the country. Lesson topics include: archaeology, ecology, geology, human history, and paleontology.
All curriculum materials are web-based and available for download from www.gsenmschool.org. Sponsored by GCNHA and GSEP. This educational website has also become part of the Hands on the Land national network of web-based field classrooms connecting students, teachers, and parents to their public lands and waterways at www.handsontheland.org. Through the Hands on the Land program, GSENM will be better able to network with educators and land managers in evaluating and improving GSENM’s educational programs.
Targeting children six through twelve years old, the backpack contents include equipment, supplies, and information on how to perform rudimentary experiments and identify various species or specimen using the scientific method.
For those children not able to take advantage of the Discovery Backpacks, a Junior Scientist Booklet is available at visitor centers free of charge. The booklet offers children fun and entertaining activities, highlighting visitor center interpretive exhibits and the scientific process. Children that participate receive a Junior Scientist Badge.
Dinosaurs on the Move
Two more exhibits are in production featuring GSENM dinosaur discoveries - the recently named horned dinosaur, Diablocer eatoni (81 MYA), and Deinosuchus riograndensis (75 MYA), the first giant crocodile found in Utah. Along with displays, GSENM and other area specialists give presentations about the exhibits contents to enhance students learning and comprehension.
In additoin to these exhibits, the BLM Kanabe Field Office (KFO) sponsored its own traveling exhibit in cooperation with GSENM. The exhibit features the bones of a Colombian mammoth excavated on the KFO in 2001.
Learning from the Land
Upon arrival, students receive curriculum-based environmental education activity guides using each visitor center’s exhibits as teaching tools. Developed by GSENM and founded on national education standards, these guides enhance student learning experiences and help them understand scientific methodology. Guide activities focus on the sciences of archaeology, ecology, geology, history, and paleontology.
Plotting for the Future
In the spring and summer of 2010, GSEP will facilitate the hiring and supervision of high school interns to work with GSENM scientists transplanting these native plants into field plots on the Monument. Over the field season, the interns and BLM will monitor the plots to evaluate and document soil moisture content, seed viability, percentage of seed longevity, plant coverage, and overall ecosystem health.
Engaging in this learning exercise will teach students scientific methodology, critical thinking skills, and adaptive management approaches. At the same time, the project allows GSENM to test various reintroduction options at a reduced cost to the agency. The Greenhouse Project is partially funded through a grant from the Take-It-Outside Program and the Enviromental Protection Agency.
Through the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) program, GSENM is better able to offer regional high school and college students opportunities for student internships, while cost effectively meeting BLM program objectives. SUU supplies the marketing and referral services to the agencies, administers the program, and grants college credit to students who participate. The program promises to be a great benefit to both students and the agencies
In addition to these internships, GSEP also sponsored internships for high school and college students. Coordinating with GSENM, GSEP Education Specialist Jane Butter presented programs and posted information at area schools to recruit students for these and BLM sponsored internships as well.