Teachers FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionAre there any costs associated with the field trips?

Answer: No! As a matter of fact you will get…

  • FREE – Class field trip to the Tallahassee Museum PAID for by the Project Grant and already approved by the Principal and School Board!
  • FREE – Use of online resources in the classroom geared directly to teaching important NGSS standards around scientific practices and Nature of Science and ecology. The museum field trip learning experiences will be directly aligned with a class curriculum and will include a pre, during, and post trip connection so that students learn to ask and answer a scientific question.
  • FREE – Curriculum ideas aligned with the Florida’s Next Generations Sunshine State Standards.

QuestionWhat is the general goal of the Habitat Tracker Project?

Answer: The Habitat Tracker Project is FOCUSED on bringing the Scientific Practices and Nature of Science (NOS) components of Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards alive in the classroom. Our hope is to assist in helping students become familar with dynamic processes of scientific discovery in an engaging context of the museum through the use of web-based technologies. Although, the project is not actually designed with the goals of students learning scientific content about museums, technology or animals and associated habitats, it does offer this as a FORTUNATE side effect of this type of collaborative learning experience.

Question:  What are other visions of the Habitat Tracker Project?

Answer:  To build collaboration: While the venue of the current project is local wildlife centers, the long-term vision of the research is for Habitat Tracker to be used at schools visiting many different types of science museums and nature centers, and for these to contribute data to one centralized database that extracts common lessons and tips for teachers, and allows for cross linking among schools and science museums nationwide. For example, students studying black bears during a visit to the museum in Tallahassee could collaborate with students studying a different kind of bear at a nature center in another part of the country.

Question: Are there any long term benefits for teachers involved in the Project?

Answer: Yes! Teachers will learn how to conduct scientific inquiries, they will learn how to effectively incorporate both technology and fieldtrips into their teaching and they will have an opportunity to forge a professional relationship with actual scientists, which can lead to future classroom content development, curriculum ideas or enhancement of existing learning ideas, and possible guest speakers. The museums curators and educators have extensive knowledge and experience in preparing and delivering educational content about natural science to students.

Question: What are the instructional benefits of this project in regards to the Next Generation SSS?

Answer: The Project provides interventions that fill a critical need for instruction aimed at the Next Generation SSS. Many of the new benchmarks consist of concepts that are new to many teachers. The implementation of this project will hopefully assist in any gray areas regarding the Nature of Science new SSS via on staff instruction during the school year, summer professional development workshops, and teacher collaborations forged during the study.

Question: Do instructors need to merge the content into the classroom curriculum on their own or will there be guidance from Project staff?

Answer: There will be a Summer Professional Development Workshop offered to assist with Nature of Science standards as described in Florida’s Next Generation SSS, Habitat Tracker software usage, curriculum ideas and more.  Plus on staff science educators available to assist in or out of classroom throughout project year(s).

Question:  What is the significance of the Pilot Study?

Answer: While Habitat Tracker will provide immediate benefit to students in the local community, it is primarily intended to be a fully-developed intervention that can be adapted by other school systems around the country for use in other museums and wildlife centers. Therefore, your participation is vital, as you will be…

  • Providing feedback in the design process
  • Helping ensure each developed iteration is operating as intended
  • Providing feedback about students effectiveness in utilizing the technology interfaces
  • Aid in providing much needed tips, guidelines, and experience summaries to improve the value of field trips for science education
  • Enriching a data base geared at bringing the Nature Of Science curriculum more effectively in the classroom
  • Assuring alignment with State standards
  • Aid in determining if the systems are easily adaptable to future use in other schools.
  • Providing feedback about how content relates to student understanding of inquiry, NOS, and attitudes toward science