Exploring the Natural World Aubrey Owen & Ashley Rodriguez

Paleontological Society Outreach & Education Grant Proposal

January 21, 2017

Project Goal

Motivate student engagement in the natural world by offering 7th grade students the opportunity to engage in meaningful educational field experience based on Oklahoma Academic Standards.

Target Audience

  • 7th grade: Approximately 450 students
  • Educators & Administrators
  • Edmond Stakeholders
  • Community

Project Plan

  1. Apply for Paleontological Society Grant and apply the funds to pay for items including, field trip costs and outreach materials.
  2. Presentation given in classroom by paleontologist from local areas to introduce students to fossils and field sites.
  3. Students will create a field guide encompassing a physical map of site locations, potential fossils, expected geological features, and ecological descriptions of the area (vegetation and wildlife).
  4. Students will be divided into five groups, each at a different fossil dig site. The groups will be approximately 30 students, 2 teachers, and 5 volunteer parents.
  5. At the 5 dig sites, students will be split into groups of 15 students and 1 teacher. Each group will be given the 2 tasks both approximately 1 hour.
  6. Task 1 (fossil dig) will have students looking for fossils at 1 of 5 dig sites.
  7. Task 2 (ecology) students will survey locality and give descriptions about the environment. In addition, students will participate in amphibian disease research by Cameron Siler located at the Sam Noble Museum, in affiliation with the Oklahoma State Fish and Wildlife Department, collecting samples from various amphibians for potential infectious diseases.
  8. In culmination of the project, students will create presentations comparing present ecological environment to previous environments, based on the data collection including, fossils samples, geological observations, and participation in state funded research.
  9. Incorporation of multiple disciplines will target student motivation through investigation of the natural world using the application of Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics, ELA/Literacy, and Science.
  10. "STEAM" (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) will be incorporated by allowing students to use technology and art as a component of their project including 3D printed fossils found at sight, field guide sketches, and multimedia research and presentations.

Oklahoma Academic Standards Connections

  1. Core Idea: Biological Unity and Diveristy
  2. Cross Cutting Concept: Cause and effect; Mechanisms and explanations
  3. Science & Engineering Practice: Construct explanations and design solutions; Analyze and interpret data
  • MS-LS4-4
  • MS-LS4-6
  1. Reflections using multimedia components and visual displays.
  2. Compare and contrast information gained from experiments.
  3. Written explanatory texts to examine and compare ideas.
  • RST.6-8.9
  • WHST.6-8.2
  • SL.8.4
  • SL.8.5
  1. Model with mathematics.
  2. Represent and recognize relationships between quantities.
  3. Summarize numerical data in relation to their context based on the number and types of fossils found at each location.
  • MP.4
  • 6.SP.B.5
  • 7.RP.A.2

Measures of Success

Student Project Rubric
Student field guides and presentations
Student Surveys
Educator, Administrator, and Stakeholder Surveys


Created with images by albertr - "dinosaur dragon tyrannosaurus" • logos.opticos - "untitled image" • hrohmann - "dinosaur fossils bone" • kkorvin - "fossils bone lizard" • stux - "ammonit ammonoidea extinct" • WikimediaImages - "acer leaf eocene" • PublicDomainPictures - "ancient animal biology"

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