May 1, 2016

Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial!

This summer the National Park Service (NPS) will turn 100 years old. Green-uniformed rangers in their iconic calvary hats started serving America in 1916. The National Park Service manages and protects some of the continent's most treasured places—from Acadia to Zion. Our national parks have been called “America’s best idea” and welcome more than 270 million visitors each year.

I'm an unabashed national park fan, as is my photographer husband Tom Uhlman. Our book about science projects going on in national parks required years of travel, research, and photography—lucky for us! We tagged along with a scientist studying
credit: Wallace Keck
synchronous fireflies and another investigating salamanders in Great Smoky Mountain. Geyser experts gave a tour in Yellowstone and ecologists let us help track Gila monsters and measure cacti in Saguaro. The result was Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America's Own Backyard, a book for young readers in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Scientists in the Field series. 

As part of the celebration, NPS is encouraging everyone to discover nearby national parks. It's called Find My Park and displays parks by state or zip code. Try it out! Not able to travel right now? Engage young people in the centennial with a virtual road trip to a national park or national monument. How? First, invite kids to choose a national park or national monument to profile using a road map or the online NPS map. Then have them research the park or monument to fill out this graphic organizer.
Click to download the Teaching Guide!

Encourage students to turn their information into a travel poster, brochure, or audio/video advertisement. The resources on the graphic organizer include links to fantastic images they can download.

Want more ideas? Check out the standards-aligned activities in the free reading and teaching guide for Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America's Own Backyard!

Happy 100th, National Park Service!! 

1 comment:

  1. Great article, This books show the new technology and ideas, this is the scientific article.
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