In the last 10 years, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums formally trained more than 400,000 teachers, supporting science curricula with effective teaching materials and hands-on opportunities. A 2009 National Research Council report found "abundant evidence that these programs and settings contribute to people's knowledge and interest in science" and that they can "significantly improve outcomes for individuals from groups that are historically under-represented in science."
Indiana Fun World will offer professional development for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and elementary teachers through an innovative program called Future Scientists which is aimed at improving the quality of science instruction in their classrooms.
Specifically, the mission of this program is to:
Future Scientists schools will be chosen through an application process.
Once campuses are chosen, Indiana Fun World works in collaboration with the school and provides real-time campus support. Indiana Fun World will assist teachers in development of lessons to share and model. We will train teachers in the application of our museum and aquarium created science kits.
Our aquarium & museum will provide interactive lessons, webcast lessons and we will also plan and implement at least one Family Science Night during the academic school year.
We will observe science lessons and provide feedback to teachers.
Indiana Fun World will present our Teacher’s Guide in a high-quality printed guide that outlines the educational programs available at Indiana Oceans and The Living Dinosaurs Museum & Park. The Teacher’s Guide will also posted in a downloadable format on our website.
Guides will be distributed at schools and other large educator meetings. Indiana Fun World educators will also personally distribute Guides to science teachers in the Region at the beginning of each school year. In total, Indiana Fun World plans to distribute 30,000 printed Teacher’s Guides each year and receive several thousand page views of our online version.