PaleoTEACH is an initiative funded by the Florida Museum of Natural History and Duke University through multiple NSF grants.
The goal is to make available high quality 3D models of fossils to a K12 audience and a set of lessons in connection with 3D models. Fossils are rare and delicate specimens and therefore, most of the time, not suitable for classroom use. 3D scanning and printing technologies are a perfect venue to make these specimens available to K12 students and teachers for classroom use. In partnerships with scientists, all lessons have been designed by K12 educators.
This initiative advances our understanding of the potential efficacy of the recently developed 3D scanning technologies in K12 science learning. This approach to integrating 3D technologies in K12 can potentially improve both the relevance of educational practices in our schools and broaden the impact of ongoing digitization efforts of paleontological research collections.
This project is designed with the idea of excitement in mind by providing access to specimens that can only be seen at museums and to foster real-life experiences in order to engage students in the process of science.
Our goal is to increase student motivation in science learning and scientific inquiry, and to increase or awaken interest in science careers. By promoting integration of new and emerging technologies, students will be exposed to real science projects that will foster feelings of self-efficacy, competence, higher levels of interest, and the need for accomplishing goals.