Most Interactive National Park Electronic Field Trip Ever!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) October 12, 2011 – A recent call to action from the White House detailed the need for advanced technologies that could transform teaching and learning in America’s classrooms. Answering that call, on Friday, October 21, 2011, the National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trip (EFT) interactive broadcast from Saguaro National Park will give students from across the country and around the world the opportunity to learn about the role biodiversity plays in this unique desert environment by utilizing many unique mobile and web-based technologies.

This Electronic Field Trip, “Desert Diversity: A BioBlitz at Saguaro National Park,” the 14th produced by the National Park Foundation, coincides with the National Geographic Society-National Park Service fifth annual BioBlitz.  Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the Saguaro National Park BioBlitz will bring together more than 150 leading scientists and naturalists from around the country, thousands of local citizens of all ages, and more than 2,000 students from the greater Tucson area.  By partnering with the National Park Foundation, students from around the country and the world will be able to take part in this unique learning experience.

This event will be the most technologically-advanced to date.  Incorporating the National Geographic FieldScope and the Project NOAH mobile application, participants will be able to interact directly with the live action at Saguaro, viewing, analyzing and adding their own experiences and observations to the collective data.  

Additionally, the EFT’s companion website, www.electronicfieldtrip.org/saguaro, features five lesson plans covering some of the same skills scientists will be using during the BioBlitz to count and discover species living within the park. The lesson plans, as well as interactive games, cover topics such as species identification, plant adaptations, measuring and recording observations, the importance of diverse life zones and the implications of climate change, and how to conduct your own schoolyard BioBlitz!

The Electronic Field Trip, will include two, live, hour-long broadcasts (1pm ET and 4pm ET) from Saguaro National Park, made available through the website (www.electronicfieldtrip.org) as well as on participating public television stations. The FREE program is designed for students in the 4th through 8th grades. The Saguaro program is the latest in a series of investigative EFTs produced by the National Park Foundation to discover the valuable lessons that science being done in national parks can provide to students in classrooms.

Previous EFTs have educated millions of students across the United States and around the world on historical events, climate change, biodiversity and more. For more information about the National Park Foundation’s EFT program and a full catalogue of all previous EFTs, visit www.electronicfieldtrip.org.

The Saguaro EFT, made possible through support from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, is done in partnership with the National Park Service and National Geographic.

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Marjorie Hall
Director, Communications
National Park Foundation
1201 Eye Street, NW Suite 550B
Washington, DC 20005
Direct:  202-354-6480
mhall@nationalparks.org