Athens-Clarke County, Discover Life
Arisaema triphyllum, Jack-In-The-Pulpit

Athens-Clarke County

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Partners in Science, Technology, Education & Conservation

<I>Natural History Museum, University of Georgia</I>

The mission of "Athens-Clarke County, Discover Life" is to improve science education in the county and increase the public's understanding and appreciation of nature. We are building a community partnership between Athens-Clarke County and Great Smoky Mountains National Park to study and conserve the diversity of life in our region. Our immediate goal is to improve county computer facilities, school laboratories, teacher training, and school curricula. In June, 1998, we started a community science, technology, and education partnership to increase minority student participation in the study of natural history in national parks. For details of this program, please see its draft proposal. Ultimately, we hope that this program will serve as a model for other communities.

It is our goal to develop nine lesson plans that can be used in school yards to study local biodiversity and ecological interactions. Once developed, these plans should be applicable to a wide geographic area and might be incorporated into a program such as the international GLOBE program (see Each of these lesson plans involves asking scientific questions about the natural world, collecting field data in the school yard that address these questions, analyzing the information, and presenting it on the Web. Students learn a variety of skills, including critical thinking, how to collect and manage data, quality control, analytical skills, photography, and using computers as a tool, as scientists do. In short, we are developing comprehensive exercises to mentor students in science and have them produce data that is meaningful to the scientific community. Teachers will work with Ms. Edwards, Ms. Esco, Mr. McLucas, Dr. Pickering and Ms. Skillen to develop school yard lesson plans for conducting natural history studies on the following topics:

Calendar of Events
13 - 15 August, 1998 Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont Field Trip . .
18 June - 1 July, 1998 Biodiversity and Web Technology Training Course . .
12 March, 1998 Participants . .
12 February, 1998 Agenda Invitation Letter Participants
28 January, 1998 Agenda Overview Participants

Organizing Committee

Amy Edwards Museum of Natural History 706-542-4137
Stella Guerrero Cedar Schoals High School 706-353-7076
Elizabeth McGhee Museum of Natural History 706-542-3940
Elizabeth Skillen Institute of Ecology 706-542-1388

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Updated: 09 March, 1999