Friday, Jun 5, 2009
Rangers from Badlands National Park contacted nearly 6,000 students during the 2008-2009 school year. The popular and successful education outreach programs included the Badlands in Your Classroom programs, field trips to the park, and distance learning programs conducted through video conferencing technology. Park Education Specialist Julie Johndreau notes, "Not only do these programs support state content standards of learning, but they also give kids a chance to experience the wonderful resources of their national parks." Programs covered topics such as badlands fossils, Native American uses of bison, and the swift fox reintroduction program.
Rangers visited a diversity of schools within 100 miles of Interior, SD that included rural schools, Rapid City Area Schools, and schools on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This year, video conferencing allowed rangers to virtually visit 62 classrooms across seven different states. Teachers and students enjoyed the programs. "We just wrapped up our unit on Native Americans and all the students can talk about is the Badlands presentation," said Chris Allmer, a fourth grade teacher from New Jersey, "I look forward to doing it with my group next year!"
Teachers are encouraged to visit the park's website to learn more about educational opportunities available through Badlands National Park.