Learning in the Parks
As a classroom teacher who teaches a course called Geology of the National Parks, my classroom can't compete with the national parks.
My classroom activities on glaciology can't compete with students witnessing a glacier calve in Kenai Fjords National Park. My classroom activities on plate tectonics can't compete with students standing on the caldera rim of Crater Lake National Park.
If you can't beat them, join them for a personalized learning experience.
A particular group of learners may visit the same parks and go on the same hikes, but what they take away is unique to the individual. What they see, how they feel, what they remember, their future motivations, etc... are all unique to the learner.
Use the national parks to impact the physical, personal, and social dimensions of educators and learners of all ages. Use the national parks as resources to show students how the sciences are truly connected in nature.
They are America's best idea for many reasons.