Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meeting with Ranger from Yellowstone National Park

Last week, on 28th November 2012, we had our first and overwhelming meeting with Elisabeth Taylor, ranger at the Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. The education board of the Skype administration offers opportunities for schools to get into contact to their partners to support teaching at schools. After applying for such a support on the education website of Skype in June this year already we got this date a few weeks before.

(Here are some impressions we had during the meeting, gathered in two small videos:)

In September 2012 students from class 8d at Realschule Sundern, Germany, started their education in learning how to prepare PowerPoint- Presentations. They chose the topic "American National Parks" and all small students groups finally had to present this  great park in the USA. While doing this and searching for information concerning the parks they gathered a lot of questions they didn't get an answer for.

They had collected all these questions to be asked during this event which had taken place last week: What are the sights of the Yellowstone National Park?, How do you become a ranger?, Is it dangerous to visit the park? etc. They were interested in the history as well as in the goals of the park.

And they got a lot of good answers from Mrs Taylor who had got up earlier that morning to meet us right in time. The students from my school came back later in the afternoon after school had already finished a few hours before. All participants were really enthusiastic to do this meeting.

Finally, after 50 minutes of presentations and discussions, the meeting closed down and all members were deeply impressed and very happy about that meeting.

Their English teacher, Mrs Wahle, herself confirmed after she had read the written comments of the students that they had learned a lot by a maximum of listening practice and understanding.

Mrs Taylor admitted during the aftershow meeting that this had been the first meeting of Yellowstone National Park rangers with a German class and that they are really interested in repeating such events in the future.

The rangers of the Yellowstone National Park are running 4 meetings a day with classes at schools using Skype. So it usually takes some time to get a date.

Thanks to Elisabeth Taylor for this wonderful meeting and we hope to meet her again in spring 2013.

(c) Reinhard Marx

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