The TCD program in conjunction with the Center for Latin American Studies Outreach Program have started to collaborate in outreach efforts to take Science in Latin America topics to K–12 teachers in Florida. Some of the recent initiatives are teacher workshops, a traveling suitcase on Science in Latin America, and school visits.
In conjunction with the Center for LAS outreach program, TCD participated in a summer workshop for K–12 teachers from Florida called Ecosystems of Latin America. The workshop was funded by the Center’s US Department of Education Title VI Grant. TCD faculty, students, and alumni participated giving talks and accompanying the group of teachers on local field trips to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Lubee Bat Conservancy. The topics discussed were: Introduction to Latin American Ecosystems; Climate change; People and the environment in Latin America; Indigenous people, jaguars, and oil in Ecuador.
The final product of the workshop was a WIKI page where the teachers posted lesson plans for their classrooms based on the topics discussed during the workshop, using the local resources available. This page has a lot of resources, publications, and the archived lectures presented during the workshop.
Traveling Suitcase on Science in Latin America
Traveling Suitcases are collections of books, games, theme related stuffed animals, artifacts, and other items that have been collected by UF faculty and students. Many teachers use them as a learning center, letting students handle items and discuss their uses. We will have lesson plans to accompany the suitcase's materials very soon!
As a result of the workshop, local teachers requested TCD students and faculty visit their classrooms and talk to their students about Science in Latin America, Tropical Rainforest, Being a scientist, etc.
Examples of school visits are showcased below.
Horizon School (middle and high school level), lecture "The Amazon" and discussion. Close to 50 attendees between teachers and students.
Williams Elementary School (elementary level). Participation of a TCD student and a TCD/ACLI professional visitor in classroom activities and presence at their science fair with two rotation tables: "Dung Beetles: Nature's Recyclers" and "Indigenous peoples of the Amazon". Close to 50 attendees total.
Talbot Elementary School (kindergarten). Presentation “All about Bats” on Halloween day. Around 30 attendees between teachers, parents, and kids.
Talbot Elementary School (kindergarten). Assisted field trip to the Florida Museum of Natural history. Around 100 people, between kids and adults.