Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was established with a strong emphasis on both education and science. The Presidential Proclamation of 1996 and the Monument Management Plan both clearly state the BLM’s role in administering education and science on the Monument.
As stated in SCI-6 of the Management Plan “The BLM will play a role in developing educational programs for grades Kindergarten through 12, emphasizing the area’s scientific and cultural resources. The BLM will cooperate with colleges and universities in undergraduate and graduate programs as resources permit. Outreach efforts such as Monument-sponsored science publications and field schools will be incorporated into management programs to the extent possible.”
With such a direct requirement for both education and science, one can see how GSENM Student Explorations is a perfect combination of the two. It was designed to ignite the fire and passion in high school students for learning and doing science. Its purpose is to strike interest in science as it relates to the Monument, which can be right in students’ own backyards. It provides many learning opportunities and activities to connect students directly to the science on the Monument, and involve them in a meaningful way. This is one reason why the Monument was originally set aside, and is a great educational opportunity for both teachers and students.
The online curriculum program was also designed to give students a chance to interact with science professionals on the Monument. This shows students how exciting science can be and the passion that scientists on the Monument have for the work they do. Exposing kids to the scientific wonders of their own backyard and getting them involved in science on such a personal level is one of the primary goals of this program. It also meets state mandated curriculum requirements for science, so it helps teachers meet their own goals in this way. It is divided into five modules, which cover: Archaeology, Ecology, Geology, Human Landscape, and Paleontology.
The curriculum was designed with two primary outcomes for students: critical thinking skills, and an understanding of the scientific method. These outcomes are achieved through examples on the Monument and urge students to be objective thinkers who focus on the thinking process, not necessarily getting to the answer. This program is for teachers who want more, teachers who are looking to dive deeper into science and provide students with an amazing learning opportunity and access to valuable resources. GSENM Student Explorations is an interactive program and is meant to act as a jumping off point to even further explorations into science and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
We would like to thank the following people for all of their hard work in making this site possible:
Barbara Warner, Carolyn Shelton, Chris Eaton, Daisy Ballard Johnson, Jane Butter