Dacia Jones, Chief Education Officer
Expeditions in Education
HundrED has not validated this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
Over the last two years the world has realized what we have always known, educators are essential workers. What they do matters & how we treat them matters more. We want to recognize them for the rockstars that they are by providing world-class professional development, virtual experiences that engage their students & learning communities which will help them build relationships with others.
How does your innovation work in practice?
We know that outdoor experiences help students increase their understanding of natural and human communities which leads to a sense of place. Students can develop stronger environmental attitudes and have a deeper understanding of civic issues.
At Expeditions in Education, we know students around the world have the ability to solve problems. We aspire to give them opportunities to do that every single day. We travel around the country, filming in National Parks in order to bring real-world experiences to students, families, and teachers. We research the challenges that National Parks face and then write STEM content that teachers and parents can introduce to their students and children. Each experience includes a look at the park, its history, its place in the world, and the impact it has on those around it. We also include a STEM challenge connected to one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Goals. These goals are ones that affect us all!
How has it been spreading?
In the past year we have reached over 800 thousand students virtually, presenting STEM classes and getting them excited about our national parks; this includes hosting 60 classrooms/day, several times a week. We share with them the beauty of the parks and the role that they can play in each one of them. We work closely with scientists, researchers, and park rangers to identify the environmental issues that challenge them. We invite students to submit solutions, via social media, to the parks. This gives the students a sense of ownership, knowing that they can solve an actual problem. We are on track to work with 1 million students & teachers in 2021 and plan to double that in 2022 as we work in 8 National Parks with STEAM in the PARK and 35 parks in the National Parks Expedition Challenge.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
These virtual field trips and STEM Challenges are located on our website at expeditionsineducation.org and our YouTube Channel (Expeditions in Education). All challenges are FREE and easy to use.