Using Parks as Natural Classrooms
Each of the program’s TRACK Trails offers a series of self-guided brochures that turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure that immerses kids and families in science practices and content. The brochures encourage visitors to explore nature-based topics, including trees, birds, flowers, ferns, lichen, biodiversity, and more.
Now, Kids in Parks is targeting science engagement through its newest type of TRACK Trail–Citizen Science/STEM Trails. Through a partnership with PBS Kids PLUM LANDING, SciStarter, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the program is developing TRACK Trails that integrate citizen science projects and hands-on science activities.
During this presentation, Jason Urroz, the Director of Kids in Parks, will discuss the design, history and national expansion of the program, as well as examine the development of citizen science specific TRACK Trails. Participants will learn how to incorporate similar tactics, materials and partnerships at their sites to engage kids and families with science through exploration and outdoor adventure.