Science education in action
Primate Tales is Toronto's only educational outreach program that gets elementary and high school students excited about primates, science and evolution by bringing in real scientists to classrooms. Our programs result in students gaining a greater interest in science and realizing that biology is a viable career option through inquiry and problem based learning. Check out our latest blog collaboration with the National Center for Science Education on the importance of teaching human evolution.
A recent paper by Bayer and Luberda (2016) shows that inquiry-based hands-on learning with hominin skulls helps students gain a greater understanding of evolution. Clark et al (2016) have shown that having scientists speak to middle school students increased the students interest in science by 70% and their interest in becoming a scientist by 60%. This is what we do at Primate Tales, have scientists bring our collection of ape and hominin skulls to engage students with biology and human evolution, so they can better understand these topics and see that they too can be scientists.
Class presentations are for JK all the way to grade 12 and use primates as a way to complement the science curriculum and expose students to learning materials they might not have access to otherwise. All programs incorporate hands on materials, videos, photos and discussions about primates.
We also believe in giving back to our community and have partnered with Lay-Up Basketball Scholarships to provide our Being a Field Scientist program free of charge to underprivileged youth across Toronto.
You can see some of our introductory programs and pictures from our time in the field at Spongelab.