Professor of Education Jamie MaKinster and his coauthors have earned a REVERE Award from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for their book, “Birds Without Borders,” and its related online resources.
Subtitled “Investigating Populations, Habitats and Conservation of Birds in the U.S. and Abroad,” the book is the result of the National Science Foundation-funded Crossing Boundaries project. Led by MaKinster in collaboration with Nancy Trautmann, director of education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and a team of teachers and researchers, Crossing Boundaries included intensive summer institutes in which middle and high school science teachers learned how to integrate information and communication technology into their science teaching.
“We’re delighted to see this recognition of the value of engaging secondary students in geospatial investigations addressing topics of genuine concern in today’s world,” says MaKinster. “Birds provide a compelling hook, drawing students into learning about species in their home communities and abroad. Access to user-friendly online mapping software makes it possible for students to conduct thought-provoking analyses, learning science while using real-world data to target regions of concern and develop targeted conservation strategies.”
With its prestigious annual REVERE (Recognizing Valuable Educational Resources) Awards, the AAP identifies and honors high quality resources that educate learners of all ages, in all media, and in all educational environments, both in and beyond the classroom. The awards program supports the mission of the AAP’s PreK-12 Learning Group, advocating for quality content in teaching and learning. “Birds Without Borders” took home the REVERE Award for Supplemental Resources in Science, Health, and the Environment.
“This is a perfectly executed collection of materials,” one of the REVERE judges remarked. “It is very user-friendly, interactive and immersive, with a complementary combination of learning resources. From worksheets to maps, videos, slide presentations and mapping, the content is readily absorbed. Moreover, showcasing young researchers makes the content very relatable. Other impressive features were the coverage of birds in international areas, and the discussion of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services is a relatively new area that needs to be integrated in all curriculum.”
“‘Birds Without Borders’ was created by a team including six teacher co-authors and dozens of other teachers who went beyond the call of duty to challenge themselves academically and collaborate with us on how best to challenge their students,” MaKinster says. “This award is a tribute to them all.”