UC Provides Outdoor Science Training to High School
October 19, 2000
To help improve educational
opportunities in field science for high school students from underprivileged schools, the University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS) in
collaboration with Univeristy of California Early Academic
Outreach Program (EAOP) successfully completed a summer pilot program, named the HOST
(Hands On for School Teachers) Program. For eight weeks, six premier science teachers from
around California performed one-on-one outdoor training at NRS reserves. HOST teachers
underwent a rigorous field-training course at the NRS's Motte Rimrock Reserve in Riverside
County. Then, working independently and directly with an NRS reserve manager, each teacher
completed personalized hands-on training at a different NRS reserve across California.
HOST teachers brought their own expertise to this challenging program, attending two
workshops at NRS reserves dedicated to creating teaching materials for on-site learning
activities. The NRS is providing funding to HOST teachers for reserve fieldtrips, enabling
them to apply their new skills and lesson plans with their classes. Apporoximately 800
students will benefit from the HOST Program this year alone.
Through the Host Program, teachers have enhanced their abilitites to make a difference for
their students by:
|deepening understanding of the scientific method, which can be taught in virtually any
|acquiring practical skills by conducting hands-on fieldwork,|
|creating new teaching materials for use during field trips and in the classroom,|
|gaining the confidence and new strategies to excite students about the environment and
engage them in exploratory ivestigation,|
|starting a tradition of reserve use and making lasting connections with on-site
researchers and members of the NRS family, and|
|establishing a network with other teachers through group work and information sharing.|
Ultimately, participation in the HOST Program rejuvenated in teachers a lifelong
personal interest in environmental science that they will pass along to their students. In
a climate where there are many challenges to public education, the NRS and EAOP aim to
provide an environment for enriching the education opportunities for underprivileged
schools that may inspire and prepare students to pursue higher education.
Click here to
read about the HOST teachers' activities at the NRS Reserves.