Digital field trips allow children to learn about California State Parks

Interpretive Specialist Jenny Comperda helps broaden learning through digital redwood science programs at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. (Photo provided by California State Parks)

Teachers, take your students to the giant sequoia forest – without ever leaving the classroom.

California State Parks and Save the Redwoods League partnered up to launch a new digital field trip that gives kids a look at the challenges that face the giant sequoia forests.

Giant sequoia trees, which are only found in California’s Sierra Nevada, are the largest living trees in the world.

The Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students program is an interactive and comprehensive digital education package that more than 500,000 children in California and around the world have used to learn about the ecosystems, wildlife and history of California’s state parks.

“Bringing the beauty and magic of our state parks through the PORTS program allows students to be transported to a different part of their world, one they may not have even known existed,” Lisa Mangat, director of California State Parks, said in a news release. “Partnering with the League to bring this digital access to more children will help expand their knowledge and interest not only in giant sequoia, but also to the diverse natural and cultural treasures found in California’s state parks.”

The new giant sequoia unit was designed for students in kindergarten through high school and will be available through the 2018-19 school year.

The PORTS program offers 14 units of study, including Hearst Castle, kelp forests, elephant seals, the Gold Rush, monarch butterfly life cycles and migration, tide pools, state government and more.

To learn more about the program, visit the California State Parks PORTS website.

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