Several workshops are currently under development that will become available as time allows and interest demands. All workshops will count as Professional Development workshops for K-12 teachers to help them incorporate the new standards outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards that have been adopted by Arkansas and many other states. These workshops will cover a variety of topics that will help you learn and teach science, particularly evolution and fossils. Each workshop will be taught at a variety of levels, individually geared towards elementary, middle, and high schools and the general public. Included with the PD workshops will be materials that can be used directly in the classroom or to prepare lessons. These materials will either be included as part of the workshop cost or available to individuals for an optional additional fee to cover the cost of the materials. All workshops will also include a technology component to handle the increasing use of multimedia in the classroom.
The availability of the workshops will depend on funding and interest, so if you are interested in any of the workshops, please contact me and I will let you know when they become available. Also, if you see a need for other workshops that would be of value to teachers, please let me know.
Nature of Science, aka Doing Science: the Scientific Method from a Scientist’s Perspective
Understanding how science works is the basis for understanding any scientific endeavor, yet most people have serious misconceptions of what science really is. Find out how scientists really approach research and how it applies to thinking about any problem. Learn how scientific thought underlies engineering principles and the most common mistakes in thinking everyone makes. Learn hands-on activities and technical resources to teach how science really works.
Do you believe evolution deals with the origins of life or that evolutionary theory says we evolved from monkeys? If so, this workshop is for you. Evolution is the foundation for all modern biological thought and provides important concepts for dealing with many of the challenges facing us. Yet most people have serious misconceptions of what evolution really means. Learn the core of evolutionary thought and why it is relevant to our society while dispelling the rumors and myths most people believe.
The history of life in Arkansas goes back over 500 million years. Learn about the different geologic provinces in the state and how the rocks can tell us of the prehistoric environment. See the fossils that can be found in each province documenting the amazing story of ancient Arkansas.
How to Teach to Hostile Audiences
Evolution and climate change are topics that often generate heated arguments. Nevertheless, the science behind them is solid and according to the Next Generation Science Standards, both topics must be taught starting in elementary school continuing through high school. Learn good techniques for successfully defusing arguments and getting people to listen. These approaches will help reach the children in the classroom, and just as important, their parents.
How to Teach Anything with Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs spark the imagination of almost everyone. There is little that can gain the attention of students better than dinosaurs. Learn how to use that spark to teach any subject. Planning an integrated lesson plan? Use dinosaurs to tie together coordinated lessons throughout the curriculum, making a learning experience sure to grab the interest and inspire your students.
How Life Has Shaped Our Physical World
Most people understand how the physical world affects life on Earth, everyone experiences that as the seasons change even if they never travel far from home. But did you know that the physical world is profoundly shaped by life? From the air we breath, to the rocks under foot, to the very topography of the land, life leaves its indelible mark upon the physical environment such that one cannot truly understand one without understanding the other.
Love the site! I’ve been living in west central Arkansas these past 28 years, and in the shadow of the Horseshoe Mesa for the last 9. Everyday I go out to feed the animals; on a great many of those days I find a fossil. This particular area is unique to me in that the fossils vary quite a bit. Go south of us and you’ll find primarily sandstone fern imprints [and a layer of carbon if you’re lucky]. Go north and you’ll find sea creatures as you’d expect in limestone. But here, I don’t just find fossils I would expect living between two zones. This morning I found a piece of petrified wood that looks like it may be composed of chert [not really sure]; it also has tiny crystals that sparkle here and there on the surface. I love the fact that I can take a chair and stand out to the yard and spend the afternoon fossil hunting. This place is a rock-hound’s dream. Anyway, love the site.
Thank you very much for the kind words. I appreciate it. Sounds like you have found some nice fossil locations. If you would like to share some photos of material you have found, I would be happy to post them. I think people would appreciate seeing examples of fossils in the area.