Perhaps the most inspiring experience for any child is the observation of life, and with it the comprehension of life’s diversity. With such an understanding comes an appreciation of variation, adaptation, and the tremendous potential for biological evolution.
The primary goal of our project is to inspire in urban children an appreciation for the overwhelming diversity of life and a recognition that biodiversity is not confined to the rainforests of exotic places, but exists even within their own school yards. This project develops a learning community among graduate student fellows, classroom teachers, and their students that focuses on understanding the natural environment. Graduate fellows associated with UC Berkeley Natural History Museums (BNHM) work with middle and high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area using the facilities and resources of the BNHM and the Berkeley Natural History Field Stations. The program involves field trips, the building and studying of natural history collections in the K-12 schools, additional study of BNHM collections, and the use of interpretive tools.