NMWC Teacher Training

Teaching science can be really intimidating, especially for teachers who may not have taken many science classes. Trying to teach place-based science is even harder when you’re a teacher who moves to a new place! This spring and summer, NMWC is teaming up with Northern New Mexico University to host a series of teacher training events for charter school teachers at La Tierra Montessori School and McCurdy School. This training is part of the Improving Teacher Quality Grant from the Title II New Mexico Higher Education Department.

Last Saturday was our first field trip, and after meeting at NMWC and discussing the basics of geology, we hopped in the van and headed north to Ghost Ranch. There we met NMWC’s favorite local geologist, Kirt Kempter, who spoke to our teachers about the Colorado Plateau and the Rio Grande Rift.

Together we hiked Chimney Rock, stopping along the way to discuss Entrada Sandstone, the Todilto Formation, and coelophysis (seal-oh-PHY-sis).

First stop: Colorado Plateau vs. Rio Grande Rift

    The views along the hike were incredible.


Asking good questions
It’s a fault!

Despite chilly weather and strong winds, everybody made it to the top!

Checking out the views from the top of Chimney Rock

The group ate lunch on top of Chimney Rock and began the trek back down to Ghost Ranch, where we were treated to a tour of the Museum of Paleontology.

Chris, the museum director, explains how the fossil vancleavea was found.

The teachers in this group aren’t just science teachers. They’re art teachers, language arts teachers, and math teachers, and every single one of them was able to think of some way to incorporate local geology into their lessons. All education is environmental education!

If you would like an overview of the geology at Ghost Ranch, check out this link.


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