By Katelyn Miller, Fall Class
North Texas Master Naturalist students in collaboration with Mountain View College staff and talkSTEM have created a walking tour of Mountain View College [Dallas County Community College District campus host to this fall class] geared toward getting junior high and high school students out of the classroom and into the field. The curriculum covers subjects such as bio-diversity, behavior, mathematics, flora and fauna, and geology in real-world context. Some examples of activities include Pond Food Webs, Prairie Diversity, and Water Quality Testing. Activities are also in line with state TEKS guidelines. Trained Mountain View student docents will lead the walks. We have made docent-training materials that include teaching points and training sheets for each of the activities. All the materials needed for the walk fit nicely in docent backpacks that will include items such as a water testing kit, specimen jars, training materials, etc.
Our final product will get more students engaged with STEM topics in their environment. Along with the walkSTEM materials, we are making a promotional video with the help of Mountain View College. This class project was presented at the 2018 DCCCD Sustainability Conference, Friday, November 9, 2018.
We hope other groups can take what we have created and use it as an example for their own walks, highlighting the unique features of their site. Together, Master Naturalist-in-training Sarah Hutchings, Adrienne Cortez, Cassey Llamas, and Katelyn Miller design something unique. We would like to add special thanks to Lori de la Cruz Lewis, Randy Clower, Matthew Martinez, and Koshi Dhingra.