Blog Category: Science | Ecology Project International

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Blog Category: Science



For a long time, science (and math, and technology, and…) have been taught in a way that does not engage most students. A teacher presents an underlying scientific principle, often in a neat, abstract equation form, and then after students do some rote repetition of said formula, the teacher might present a few real-life examples in order to make it all seem “real.” However, those applications mentioned aren’t necessarily relevant to the students’ life, interests, or curiosities. They fail to engage. The Next Generation Science Standards* (NGSS) encourage teachers to flip this old regime on its head. Instead of beginning with an abstract scientific concept, lecture, and/or memorization, the NGSS recognizes that you—like any presenter or actor—must first engage your audience. The NGSS humanize students, respect their curiosity, and urge teachers to first tap into students’ interest in... Read More

Conservation, Education, How To, Nature, Professional Development, Science



Lightning cracks 360 degrees around us at the campground outside Gardiner, Montana. Inside the Ecology Project International van, EPI instructor Lila, Jess⁠⁠—a science teacher from the small town of Deer Lodge, Montana, six junior high school students, and I all huddle. Giant raindrops smack on the windows, then pebble-sized hail. In the white flashes, Electric Peak looms inside Yellowstone National Park. EPI’s safety policies dictate that we’ll be in the van until instructors can count to ten after a lightning flash before hearing thunder. We’re at less than a second right now, thunder shaking the van. It’s our third time waiting out a storm in the van this week, and we’re all a bit slaphappy. We tell jokes, riddles, storm stories, and already wax nostalgic for moments we shared just earlier today in the Park. I’ve joined... Read More

Conservation, Education, Nature, Science, Travel



In Yellowstone National Park, the sun beats down and grasshoppers buzz as Ecology Project International (EPI) local high school student Skyla places a headset over her ears and listens for a beep. Her eyes scan the grasslands as she slowly sweeps her arm from east to west, listening for the strongest intensity of signal. There! She notes the direction to her partner, Tyler, and the group hikes in that direction—to locate a radio-collared bison and record the current herd dynamics for park biologists. Ready-made, immersive field science experiences like this for you and your students are available through EPI’s field ecology programs. But what if you want to build the concepts and practices of field science into your classroom every day? Citizen science projects can help you fill that void. The internet age has made recording and sharing data fast... Read More

Education, How To, Nature, Science