Science--Middle School--Karon Decker and Connie Hambey (Team--Science of Change)

Hewitt-Trussville Middle School/Trussville City Schools

We were fortunate to work through the non-profits Think Elephants and Earthwatch.

Elephants Teaching Teachers--Project Summary:
For two weeks, two science teachers traveled halfway around the world to participate in ongoing research looking at "How smart really are elephants?" Think Elephants International (a 501c3) partnered with Earthwatch Expeditions to bring together passionate volunteers and dedicated professionals in an effort to create a scientifically based education and conservation plan to ensure Asian Elephant survival. By participating in this program we were able to work daily in the field with elephants conducting cognition experiments (intelligent test), behavioral observations (how they interact with each other), and analyze the data collected with the Think Elephants researchers. In addition to the technical research portion of our expedition, we were also immersed in a lifelong learning community. The variety of Earthwatch volunteers on the program gave us a wide perspective of conservation efforts around the world, as well as how science can be applied in different vocations and vacations. Nightly, we engaged in discussions centered on relevant research including topics like Thai culture, elephant biology, elephant cognition, elephant-human comparative brain anatomy and a look at animal inelegance across the animal kingdom. The Thinking Like an Elephant program intrigued us initially because we appreciated that there was an educational component to the Think Elephants International conservation mission. We were able to use the information we learned from the research and discussions to develop and implement an elephant conservation lesson for Thai children.

 Blog site:   Elephants Teaching Teachers Blogspot

Handout --Fund for Teachers fellowship   Lots of information and links

Blog--Think Elephants International

Last modified: Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 9:50 AM