While many BEETLES activities have been widely used and successfully applied at outdoor science programs across the country and internationally, we’ve heard over and over again that programs need more support in creating, evaluating, and revising activities that are unique to their site. Programs need activities that take advantage of the special stash of fossils they have, the huge amount of bald eagles, or that unique nearby grassland. That’s why we made this guide to Creating Effective Outdoor Science Activities! It’s designed to help programs:
- Create effective new outdoor science activities for use by multiple instructors across a program.
- Adapt and revise existing activities.
This document lays out a BEETLES approach to designing student-centered science activities focused on exploring and figuring out the intriguing mysteries of nature. Like our other documents, it is based on many conversations with program leaders, education directors, and lead instructors like you! It also comes from many years of experience writing science activities and curriculum for classrooms, after-school programs, other informal settings, and especially the outdoors. We (Lawrence Hall of Science) also have extensive experience researching what works and what doesn’t. BEETLES applies this research, teaching experience, and successes and failures to the process of creating effective outdoor science activities.