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Dr. Hagevik’s Award-Winning Article Helps School Children “Get Connected” to the Outdoor Classroom

Dr. Hagevik’s Article, which Helps School Children “Get Connected” to the Outdoor Classroom, Wins a National Award and Recognition (September 2014)

Dr. Rita Hagevik and her team of collaborators found a way that helps school children discover the natural world of their schoolyard utilizing new technologies. Their Cover page of article "Get Connected"article was recently published in the March 2013 issue of Science and Children, a peer-reviewed journal of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Published under the title “Get Connected,” the article was recently awarded the REVERE Award (Recognizing Valuable Educational Resources across all ages, in all media, for all educational settings) by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Dr. Hagevik and her team were notified in the spring that the article “Get Connected” was a finalist for the award, and they were very excited when notified this fall that their article had been chosen for the award.

The REVERE Award identifies and honors excellence in educational materials. The main objective of the award is to help teachers, parents, and the educational community identify the most effective resources for teaching and learning. No other competition has had the longevity and success of the REVERE Awards, and other awards cannot match the prestige of winning a REVERE Award. For more information see: .

In “Get Connected,” the authors describe how a group of fifth graders in Tennessee observed and documented the plants and animals in their schoolyard.  Field guides, nature journals, and digital technologies were used in the learning process.  The students read about and discussed famous naturalists while learning to create their own nature journals. Google Earth was used to map their results using satellite images of their schoolyard. Students used nature journals to document their thoughts and observations, and they used smartphones to record GPS locations and to take photographs of the surroundings.  Returning indoors, the students pursued additional studies using field guides and digital maps. The students were able to analyze patterns and draw conclusions about what they had observed on the schoolyard by using the satellite imagery and data they had collected themselves!

Dr. Hagevik’s collaborators (and co-authors) involved in this project were Jessica Horton and Bennett Adkinson (both of whom were doctoral candidates at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the project) and Jilynn Parmly, a fifth-grade teacher at Brickey-McCloud Elementary in Powell, Tennessee.  Dr. Hagevik is the Director of Graduate Studies in Science Education at UNC Pembroke. Dr. Horton is currently a fifth grade teacher at Summit Country Day School and adjunct faculty at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Adkinson is teaching high school science in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rita Hagevik

Dr. Rita Hagevik in an outdoor classroom

To learn more about the graduate program in science education at UNC Pembroke, click here.

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