Becoming Dino “Experts”

Have you ever just met one of those people who  can’t help but automatically exude what they are passionate about? My mentor, Jason Bourke, is exactly that. I officially met him this past Monday and from his T-Rex t-shirt to his enthusiastic descriptions of the many dinosaurs he studies, I am sure he  would “eat” and “breathe” dinosaurs if that really was a thing. You see I’m telling you this because my first choice project  for Kenan Fellows was Digital Dinosaurs. Not because I am crazy knowledgeable or have a lot of background experiences on the geologic past. The truth is, often times studying what happened and what lived millions of years ago sometimes bored me. I sometimes felt disconnected to the geology unit I taught and felt I needed more hands on- more application to change this approach. I believed that if there was a way to make the curriculum more relevant and engaging my students would also in turn understand the complex theme of the unit; change over time. You see, what I wanted is to bring a piece of the positive energy that a scientist exudes into my classroom for my students. I want them to do the same science that paleontologist today do in their labs. I want my students to analyze adaptations of species throughout time and understand possible reasons why that trait was necessary during the time that the species lived. I’m only a week in and I already know that this is happening. Lessons are beginning to take shape, but most importantly the experiences I’m having are easily going to transfer into my classroom in a positive and meaningful way.



Describe the goals of your internship as they relate to your work as an educator.