Capstone Project Title
Shelley Orr and Laura Halldin
Zoos and aquariums provide essential tools and opportunities to help get school aged children out of the classroom for informal education and learning. Using facilities that offer programs where the focus is on both entertainment and education, learning can be maximized to obtain literacy of a subject. That level of understanding can be then used to promote conservation and pro-environmental thinking for animals that could most benefit from a more focused setting, such as a non-charismatic megafauna: elasmobranchs (sharks and rays). Using Backward Design, where the goals of the program were determined first, a two-day Shark Researcher Camp was created to be offered at the Indianapolis Zoo as a Zoo Explorer Camp for middle school aged students. Students will learn the biology and management of elasmobranchs all over the world, as well as how the Indianapolis Zoo brings the ocean to the Midwest with a behind the scenes tour and learn how we take care of the Smooth Dogfish Sharks that live there as well. During the camp, students will become scientists as they learn the scientific method through their own experiments and research. An informal assessment is also given as students will use OCEARCH, a non-profit organization leading in shark research, to track their own shark they find on the website and give a brief presentation regarding all the data collected on that shark. Students will leave the camp environmentally literate and ocean enthusiasts wanting to help with ocean conservation. Utilizing facilities like the education department at the Indianapolis Zoo will help students become better learners, teachers become better educators, and will promote environmental conservation all over the world.
Curriculum, Literacy, Science, Informal Education
Ownbey, Lacie, "Informal Education Builds Deeper Knowledge And Connections With Elasmobranchs To Develop An Understanding For Environmental Conservation" (2023). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 975.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects