The Development of a Technology-Infused 5th-8th Grade Earth Science Curriculum Focusing on Caves

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The Development of a Technology-Infused 5th-8th Grade Earth Science Curriculum Focusing on Caves

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Traditional interpretive and educational programs within the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, have been developed on the principle that when people interact firsthand with the tangible resources found within National Park Service (NPS) sites they come to understand the meanings, concepts, stories, and relationships pertaining to these places better. While a direct physical connection to America's national parks is desired, it is not always feasible. As a result, the NPS has embraced the Internet and the World Wide Web as a valuable and effective tool to reach out and engage visitors, specifically those who may never set foot inside a park's boundaries. Many sites within the national park system are adapting technology to enhance place-based learning in park settings and at a distance (USNPS, 2006). The purpose of this study was to address the current programming needs of the interpretation and education division staff at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota by developing a curriculum that utilized the Internet and educational technology to reach out, engage and provide memorable and meaningful learning experiences regarding caves and karst topography to formal educators and their classrooms. A technology-infused 5th-8th grade earth science curriculum focusing on caves was developed and evaluated by both formal and nonformal educators.


Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Education in Environmental Education in the College of Education and Human Services Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, October 2014. Committee names: Bruce H. Munson (Chair), Julie Ernst, Terrie Shannon. This item has been modified from the original to redact the signatures present.

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University of Minnesota, Duluth. College of Education and Human Services Professions.

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Grunwald, Noelle J. (2014). The Development of a Technology-Infused 5th-8th Grade Earth Science Curriculum Focusing on Caves. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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