Explorations Through Time (cont.)

Reactions from students
While using Stories from the Fossil Record, one teacher noted that several students commented on “how cool” the whale evolution section was because they had no idea about that evidence.
“It was easy to use and more fun than a book.”
“It explained complicated things in simple forms.”
“I really enjoyed being able to get involved like on the timelines and the book. It was fun to explore the website.”
Student reactions also led to modifications of the materials. “I didn’t really understand the geological map, so I liked it the least.” This comment led us to change the format of the presentation and it is now much improved.

Highlights from a team member
“Working on this project gave me my first opportunity to think about how to convey scientific ideas to kids and the public. Interacting with teachers was very interesting and educational. Scientists speak a different language than the public and teachers can act as interpreters; at the same time it is important that nothing gets lost in the translation. Teachers are also knowledgeable about all the aspects of learning that have to be considered when designing an effective teaching tool. I also enjoyed the design- and problem-solving aspects of working with web modules as teaching tools; it draws on a number of skills relating to content, artistic design, and coding.”
—Caroline A.E. Strömberg, grad student

  Explore the Modules
We have completed the following seven modules, which we invite you to explore:
Life Has a History provides students with an introduction to the history of life and how it results in the biodiversity of today.
Getting into the Fossil Record helps students gain a basic understanding of what a fossil is and the factors involved in becoming part of the fossil record.
Understanding Geologic Time helps students learn about geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth’s history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.
Stories From the Fossil Record (still undergoing field testing/revision as of 5/15/02) provides students with a basic understanding of how fossils can be used to interpret the past. There are four different pathways to explore: biodiversity, geologic time, paleoecology and past lives.
What Did T. rex Taste Like? provides an introduction to cladistics as a way of organizing living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships, enabling us to better understand life’s present diversity and evolutionary history.

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