Grant Partners Tech Students With Assateague

ASSATEAGUE — Worcester Technical High School students this year will have the opportunity to partner with the Assateague Island National Seashore on a student-learning and stewardship project after receiving a $187,000 grant this week.
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, and the University of Phoenix this week announced the Assateague Island National Seashore is one of 18 national parks to receive a 2013 Park Stewards Program grant. Now in their second year of program sponsorship, the university is providing $187,000 in program funding to the NPF to help high school teachers and their students build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for their national parks through curriculum and service learning projects.
“This innovative program provides critical support and access to teachers so that parks nationwide can be utilized as the living classrooms they are,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Neil Mulholland this week. “Through this unique collaboration and subsequent development of rich, relevant curriculum, the Park Stewards teachers create a life-long connection to America’s national parks for their students.”
Locally, the Assateague Island National Seashore is partnering with the Worcester Technical High School to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to learn how to develop multimedia tools and materials. Next spring, Worcester Tech students will work on the development of several multimedia presentations for the “Life of the Forest” trail on Assateague.
The students will craft short thematic presentations along the trail, create QR codes, print the codes on durable materials and affix them to existing signs along the trail.
Worcester Tech teacher-steward Clay Reister, who teaches Interactive Media Production (IMP) at the school, said the program’s two main components are student engagement to real-world demands and the value of experience building.
“It’s great to have an opportunity to build this relationship between Worcester Tech and the Assateague Island National Seashore,” he said. “This NPS project allows the students to get out of the classroom and garner first-hand experience to understand from start to finish how their work further educates the community on the preservation of the Assateague Island National Seashore.”