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GTNP Sends Webcasts To Schools

Snowdesk

Grand Teton National Park has been reaching out to classrooms nationwide with curricula that feature the natural phenomena that is indigenous to the area – most recently with a “Snowdesk” webcast.  Hundreds of students in California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and other parts of Wyoming availed themselves of the program which Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs says was anchored from a rather unique setting. Says Skaggs: “Here these rangers are, sitting at a desk made of snow with animal pelts and antlers and talking about adaptations of winter.”  Skaggs says the setting is a great way to pique some interest in kids that wouldn’t necessarily have an opportunity to visit the park, but it also gives them great educational background information.  Skaggs says the curriculum-based presentation discusses the cold temperatures and the depths of snow the area typically receives; and how all of that shapes the kind of flora and fauna the park can have.  Skaggs says the program is designed to work with teachers of children from kindergarten through fifth grade. She points out that many of the teachers who are using the program have been here in the summer – having participated in a program called “teacher-ranger-teacher” where they have worked as a seasonal interpretive ranger, and then return home to build curricula about national parks, and more specifically, about Grand Teton National Park. Skaggs says the Snowdesk webcast is one of several educational outreach programs the park provides along with traveling trunks of educational artifacts and the new eHike program introduced last week.  She adds that it is hoped the educational exposure of the park will ultimately lead to the children traveling with their families to visit the park they saw in the classroom.

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