Thanks to many of you, 2013 was a huge year for the DIG Field School. In this first newsletter of 2014, we reflect on how far we've come. Keep reading to see The 'Big Five' DIG Milestones of 2013.
Are you interested in attending the 2014 DIG Field School? Join us in Montana (July 31st-August 4th) to have the experience of a lifetime and inspire your students. The online applications are open now! Be sure to apply here before March 31st.
The DIG Team
The 'Big Five' DIG Milestones of 2013
#5 We are growing, growing, GROWING!
The 2013 field school brought tremendous growth for the DIG. This year we welcomed 20 teachers, our largest group of participants since we started the program, and we expanded our geographic reach to include teachers from six new counties in WA and MT. And demand continues to grow with record numbers of applications every year!
#4 DIG makes funding strides
In 2013, we raised more than $14,000! In our first attempt at crowdsource funding, we raised over $10,000 in 60 days thanks to 53 supporters. The Paleontological Society again awarded the DIG a $2,500 Outreach & Education Grant for teacher travel stipends. Together, these funds will allow 20 K-12 science educators to join us in the field this summer, dig for dinosaurs, and bring fossils and their experiences back to their students.
#3 Developing the DIG Community
In 2013, we formed the DIG Advisory Board composed of six local and national advocates for our program. These individuals bring experience in program development, business administration, finance, K-12 and undergraduate education, and paleontology research. The Board organized and hosted our first community event, "An Evening with the DIG," (photo below) on November 12th at the Burke Museum in Seattle, WA. Program co-founders, DIG Advisory Board members, and DIG teachers spoke to 50 guests about the science, education, and future of the DIG Field School. This inaugural event was a great success and we look forward to hosting more events in the future.
#2 DIG Teachers Research the Last Mass Extinction
In 2013, our DIG teachers and researchers continued to make an impact in science research. During the DIG Field School, we collected many scientifically important fossils, including the forelimb and pelvis of Triceratops, parts of a crocodile skeleton, lizard jaws, and even elusive mammal teeth. These hard-won fossils (see photos and videos here) and the ongoing work of DIG teachers and students directly contribute to research investigating the causes and effects of the K/Pg mass extinction. See the link to the just published Geological Society of AmericaSpecial Paperall about our Hell Creek Field area, featuring papers from our DIG Team.
#1 DIG in the Classroom
Teachers bring their DIG experience into the classroom via the DIG Box, and in 2013 we improved and expanded the boxes with 10 new lessons created by our own DIG teachers. Since 2012, DIG Boxes have traveled to more than 36 classrooms and reached nearly 1,000 students (including those below). Members of our DIG Team have also visited 11 classrooms and hosted two behind-the-scenes tours (see below) at the Burke Museum. These activities further our goal to ignite student's interest in earth sciences and engage students in authentic paleontology research. Using the DIG Boxes, we hope to reach 5,000 more students over the next five years.
Onwards and upwards!
This past year for the DIG has been amazing and we'll be sure to keep you up to date on the exciting events of the year. If you'd like to support the DIG, contact us to get involved.