Urban Wildlife Field Research at Local High Schools
Launched in the fall of 2013, this free, school year-long program engages high school youth in research activities that support the work of the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute. Students work with their teachers to collect data on local wildlife at their school site using non-invasive techniques such as camera, bird surveys and bat monitors. Teachers and students will receive all the training they need in order to participate successfully.
What is expected?
Throughout the course of the program, students will
- conduct authentic science projects aligned with Urban Wildlife Institute research through genuine data collection, data analysis and dissemination approaches.
- gain awareness about the diversity of Chicago wildlife.
- be encouraged to explore nature in their communities.
Throughout the course of the program, teachers will
- submit student-collected data to be used by the Urban Wildlife Institute.
- participate in authentic wildlife research practices used to augment the classroom life-science curriculum.
What is provided?
Partners in Fieldwork is a rigorous program for the teachers accepted. Therefore Lincoln Park Zoo provides and pays for all resources needed for participation in the program. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Free busses for all visits to the zoo, field site, and Family Night
- Teacher stipends for workshop attendance
- Substitute reimbursement as necessary
- Access to an online portal containing all resources and curriculum
- All printed materials
- A classroom kit full of materials to keep after the program concludes; notable items include a classroom set of binoculars, a camera trap with all materials necessary for set up, and a classroom set of field guides
- Access to a zoo educator for support throughout the year
Partners in Fieldwork Program Components
The Partners in Fieldwork program focuses on training youth and teachers to collect data and share their research with the zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute as well as their school community. The program consists of five key components:
Component 1: Professional Development Workshops
Conducted at Lincoln Park Zoo, these two workshops prepare participating teachers to assist students in data collection, learn more about the animals and research at the zoo and collaborate with fellow participants.
Component 2: Classroom Visits
Three times throughout the year a zoo educator visits participating schools to help students develop authentic research skills that allow students to collect data that will be used by Urban Wildlife Institute scientists.
Component 3: Field Trips
Participating students will take two field trips, one to visit the zoo to conduct research near Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo and the other to conduct research in a local natural area.
Component 4: Ongoing Research
Students will conduct ongoing research on school grounds and in the surrounding neighborhood, employing techniques used to study local wildlife.
Component 5: Zoo Family Night
The culminating event, Zoo Family Night, is held at Lincoln Park Zoo and is an opportunity for select students to demonstrate to their families what they learned throughout the year and to meet zoo researchers and hear how they are using the data collected by the schools.
How to Apply
To apply for Partners in Fieldwork, all teachers must fill out the application found here. Teachers must be high school teachers and have two or more high school classes. Principal signature is required. All applications must be mailed to the address found on the application or scanned and emailed to email@example.com. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are due no later than May 19, 2017.
For more information on Partners in Fieldwork, contact us at 312-742-2051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partners in Fieldwork NGSS Standards
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