Two educators lead each 40 to 60-minute session using a video conference platform such as Zoom. Attending teachers participate as chaperones who observe and assist students as needed. Interactive technology tools may include Google Earth, Jamboards, breakout sessions and participant polls.
Session 1: Community Building 40 to 60-minute live session
Students will meet NatureBridge educators and work as a group to establish community norms and guidelines. Students will engage in team-building activities that help to create a fun and safe learning space to share and interact for future lessons. Students will learn introductory information about Yosemite such as geography, ecosystems, human history and will participate in a land acknowledgment of the traditional tribes of Yosemite as well as the students' home communities.
Session 2: Intro to Yosemite, Peaks To Canyons 40 to 60-minute live session
Students are introduced to the life zones of Yosemite National Park while exploring the adaptations organisms need to survive and thrive in these ecosystems. Students are taken on a virtual tour through Yosemite’s life zones starting at the highest peak and gradually losing elevation to the subalpine, montane and eventually foothill oak woodland. Students will get to explore life zones on their own and explore what unique environments they are for wildlife.
Session 3: Life Zones Adaptation Auction 40 to 60-minute live session
Students explore the elevation life zones across the 11,000 ft elevation range of Yosemite National Park that creates diverse habitats and enables a wide diversity of life to thrive. Student feedback determines a life zone for the group to call home. Based on the environmental conditions of their chosen life zone, students work in small groups to "build" an organism by using adaptations that can help their organism gather food, water and shelter. Students will share their design and discuss the importance of each organism in their environment.