Monday, June 27, 2016

Raptor Lab at The Raptor Center

For the past two years, 14 teachers have been actively piloting the Raptor Lab in their classrooms.  The Raptor Lab is an online learning environment which models the process of scientific investigation in real-world settings.  Students use active role playing to assume a scientific career in wildlife rehabilitation.  This educational partnership between The Raptor Center and the University of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies Media Lab was funded by a grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. 

Recently, nine of those teachers came together to participate in a final workshop to evaluate the Raptor Lab, and ensure that it meets the needs of both teachers and students.  
Jennifer Clemmerson and Allison Fasking, two teachers at Prior Lake’s Twin Oaks Middle School, are already planning on having the Raptor Lab replace their current curriculum on teaching the process of scientific investigation.  In addition, the curriculum will be expanded to two additional classrooms in Hidden Oaks (a sister middle school to Twin Oaks) and will reach more than 600 7th graders in the Prior Lake area.  Overall, the Raptor Lab was used by over 1,000 students with numerous teachers lining up to help pilot the curriculum next year.  Our hope is to see this number double for the 2016 – 2017 school year.  

It has been a very exciting two years watching the Raptor Lab develop and be used by teachers and students in the classroom.  The final curriculum will be finished this summer for use for the start of the next school year.  As this program grows we hope students throughout Minnesota and the Midwest will have the opportunity to use the Raptor Lab to learn firsthand about threats facing wildlife and our shared environments and what they can do to be part of the solution.

If you are a teacher and interested in this project, contact Mike Billington at

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