We are pleased to announce the publication of K-12 educational materials on the Global Vegetation Project website. This project was developed to fill a need for more resources to teach vegetation ecology online. The vision for this project is to curate a global database of open-access vegetation photos that can be used by educators around the world. We realized that while K-12 educators were interested in using the platform, they were constrained by curricular demands. These educational materials are designed in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and are readily adaptable for educators to use them in their classrooms. We believe these materials are relevant for educators in any setting, whether they teach with NGSS or are simply looking for a new, innovative way to teach topics in ecology. It is our hope that the Global Vegetation Project is able to bring vegetation ecology into classrooms in a manner that was not previously accessible.
The educational materials designed for the Global Vegetation Project are grounded in phenomena-based learning, where students are presented with a natural, observable phenomenon and are tasked with explaining why it occurs. Through their journey in explaining a given phenomenon, students explore various scientific practices and topics. In each set of materials, the Global Vegetation Project serves to introduce or explain a phenomenon. This approach is student-centered and guided by student inquiry. While these materials outline a general progression for an educator to follow, they encourage educators to allow students to drive the direction of their learning. The materials are presented so that they can be adapted to any educator’s particular teaching style and classroom.
Please share these materials with anyone you think may be interested in bringing the Global Vegetation Project into their classrooms. Even if they do not use the materials specifically, they may be inspired to use the platform in some other way. As the database of photos on the Global Vegetation Project expands, we can only hope its presence in K-12 classrooms expands along with it.
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"The educational materials designed for the Global Vegetation Project are grounded in phenomena-based learning, where students are presented with a natural, observable phenomenon and are tasked with explaining why it occurs."