Our Community Engagement team has been working since 2005 to make the Institute’s scientific staff and facilities available to challenge, engage, and inspire students from middle school to college. In our state-of-the-art Community Engagement Lab and Eddy Family Outdoor Learning Lab, students, teachers, and community members have direct experience with research scientists, gain access to powerful research tools, and are involved in lessons that connect them to the science of conservation in new and exciting ways.
Our approach provides the opportunity to share a full, in-depth look at the work of conservation biology and the many fields of study that help guide conservation decision-making. Our specialized facilities offer the chance to work firsthand with the tools and techniques used in conserving endangered species. All of our programs are developmentally appropriate, relevant to real-world problems, and emphasize understanding through inquiry.
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Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science
Our summer workshops for middle school and high school science teachers began with 12 participants in the summer of 2006. A dozen high school life science teachers from all over Southern California were invited to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research to experience a week in the life of a conservation scientist. The pilot program focused on the conservation history and recovery of the California condor, and was designed to bring topics of conservation science into local classrooms.
Over a decade later, we have built a nationally recognized and fully accredited program with a stellar reputation for giving teachers access to unparalleled information and experiences. To date, we have trained more than 900 middle and high school science teachers from all 50 states and six countries. Participants are treated to four days of intensive study in the Community Engagement Lab and three evenings at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, engaging with staff members and acquiring invaluable new skills to take back to their home campuses. During the workshop, teachers work together to frame content standards in the context of wildlife conservation and explore ways to challenge students to apply textbook knowledge of life science to current biodiversity challenges.
The program offers participating teachers a $500 stipend, as well as room and board. In 2017, we are holding five workshops during the months of July and August. Please download our flyer for general program information. Click here to apply to be a part of our 2017 program!
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