Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, CA, is unique in that they’re the only nationally accredited Natural History Museum that’s located on a high school campus, which also makes The Webb Schools one of the coolest high school campuses in the country.
To learn more about this collaboration, we sit down with Andy Farke, a paleontologist and educator who involves high school students in every step of the scientific research process. “They go out in the field with us to find new fossils. They help clean them and conserve them in our fossil preparation lab. They are helping. And in many cases, outright doing the research on these fossils to understand what they mean,” Andy says. “And then, taking it out there into the world through telling people about it, through events for the general public, but also by presenting at major scientific conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals.”
This is an incredible conversation that offers a glimpse at how STEM education can be transformed and given life for students, even in formal education spaces, as well as how non-traditional educators can be mentors to students.