Presenting Virtual Field Trips for Student Engagement at ESA's 6th Life Discovery – Doing Science Education Conference
Postdoctoral researcher from UCLA Maura Palacios Mejia and Protecting our River Project Director Miroslava Munguia Ramos presented their virtual field trip updates at the Ecological Society of America's 6th Annual Life Discovery Conference. With in-person classes being shifted online, field and lab-based courses came to a standstill to try and create new engaging methods for students. After a summer worth of trial and error, Maura and Miroslava refined a way to provide virtual field experiences and inviting student participation.
Using Zoom as a livestream platform, students are able to interact with the education team in real-time to ask questions about what they're observing from home. Livestream field trips provide students who may not be able to join in the field the opportunity to stay engaged and learn more about the field. Invited guest speakers give students the opportunity to hear about careers in the sciences and ask professionals more about their work. Preliminary survey results showed students benefitted from the virtual trips by providing context to their assignments and data.
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