Hot Science coordinator, Monica Brelsford, at the Thermal Biology Institute has teamed
up with the Montana Center for International Visitors to provide an international
exchange of environmental science education with students at Hawthorne School in Bozeman.
Four environmental education teachers from Russia visited Bozeman and Yellowstone
Park to exchange lessons and innovative ideas to stimulate young minds into the sciences.
The Hot Science lesson, Batiking Yellowstone, fit well within the student’s curriculum
and gave the visitors insights to the extreme environments and diversity of life found
in the Park. The third grade students were completing a module on volcanism and this lesson provided
a place-based activity that students from this region really appreciate. Yellowstone
Park has one of the world’s largest calderas (a depression formed by a volcanic eruption)
and still has a large active magma chamber just a few miles below the surface. The
magma provides the heat source to the Park’s some 14,000 thermal features. Within
the thermal features, uniquely adapted organisms thrive in these extreme environments
and produce many of the vibrant colors that we see. The lesson integrates science
and art to produce a lasting image of Yellowstone’s world renowned features and an
appreciation of our local surroundings.
Hot Science sets the stage for a multicultural exchange between Russian Environmental Educators and Hawthorne School ’s third grade.