The ID Naturalist LIVE! program brings professional naturalists into 3rd through 5th grade classrooms through the use of video conferencing to teach science and natural history across rural Montana. In this unique program, naturalists work with students once a month throughout the school year providing the opportunity to develop a strong mentor relationship.
Every month of the school year we visit your school, remotely from our base in Missoula, to explore the grounds, conduct experiments, examine natural history specimens from bird wings to mammal skulls, and sort fossils, among other things.
The unique structure of the program, the wealth of quality tools, and the top-notch instructors helps ID Naturalist LIVE! meet its goal of engaging and encouraging students’ innate curiosity about the natural world.
The ID Naturalist LIVE! program supports the 3rd-5th grade science curriculum and NGSS through the study and exploration of natural history. Students each receive a journal to record observations and scientific illustrations. Through the unique design of the program, MNHC directly provides each student with 12 hours of phenomena-based science instruction during the school year.
Naturalist instructors include Montana Natural History Center staff members and seasonal teaching staff. All naturalist instructors have completed undergraduate study in a related topic and many of them have completed graduate degrees. Instructors begin the program with prior teaching experience and a wealth of natural history knowledge and training.
The growing ID Naturalist LIVE! program is currently reaching ten schools across the state, working with more than 200 students. These schools are all over the state, from Sidney to Hot Springs.
Contact: Kelli Van Noppen at kvannoppen [at] montananaturalist [dot] org.
Want to learn more? Watch our ID Naturalist LIVE! video!
Read what teachers and students are saying about the ID Naturalist LIVE! Program!
“The most important thing that my students gained from this program was the opportunity to interact with an actual scientist. This was pretty amazing to them.”
“Loved the experience! Anytime I can offer opportunities for students to learn in a new and exciting way from a very motivated and knowledgeable professional is a great day.”
“Great addition to our science curriculum!”
“I love watching other teachers teach! After 28 years, it is easy to fall back on what works for me in the classroom, so it is fun to see other management strategies and presentation styles. It keeps me motivated to make my science lessons more engaging.”
“It’s wonderful to have access to great life science materials and curriculum.”
“I think my students are all very interested in nature. Most of them are ranch kids and spend a lot of time outside. This program helps them see that science is just the world around them and exposes them to other places and ideas. I like the big ideas about science that are presented. They take the lessons very seriously!”
“I love seeing how excited the students get when taking part in this program.”