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The North Carolina Arboretum engages school groups and visitors in making phenology observations using Nature's Notebook, through its Project EXPLORE program.
2017 Impact Statement
Teachers have expressed a need for on-site field trips, eliminating travel time and costs, that address curriculum standards and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. As an organization we would like to reach audiences not typically served by field trips by engaging with Title One schools and offer place-based educational programs. We offered a Project EXPLORE mini grant to teachers in western North Carolina through The NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC. We modeled for teachers and students how to collect data for Nature's Notebook in phenology plots we set up in their schoolyards and met with both students and teachers three times throughout the school year to focus on Nature's Notebook. The teachers and students collected data weekly from September to April and presented their findings at our mountain science expo. Since beginning the Project EXPLROE program in 2013, we have had 35 teachers in 28 schools and 2000 students throughout western North Carolina participate in Nature’s Notebook. Students have submitted 33,863 observations. Based on pre and post surveys we have successfully provided a way for teachers to be able to meet their curriculum while taking students outside and connected students with local nature, while they’ve contributed to the scientific community through Nature’s Notebook, and ultimately gained interests in science and science careers.