Thursday, February 29, 2024

Episode #64: Park Pioneers and the Magic of National Parks

Empowering Families to Embrace Adventure Through the National Parks
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Empowering Families to Embrace Adventure Through the National Parks

Show Notes:

Looking for a unique and exciting way to explore the natural beauty of National Parks with your family this summer? Look no further than Park Pioneers, the new FREE program from Expeditions in Education. In this interview, we sit down with Dacia Jones, co-founder of Expeditions in Education, to learn more about the Park Pioneers program and how it can help families connect with nature and each other like never before. Whether you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast or just looking for a fun and educational way to spend time with your loved ones, you won’t want to miss this conversation with Dacia. Join us for a fun look at how you and your family can participate in what the National Parks have to offer even if you aren’t able to go there in person!

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National Parks Junior Ranger Program Books:

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Music Used:

“LazyDay” by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.


Meet Today’s Guest:

Dacia, also known as Dr. Drizzle, is an internationally recognized educator who travels the country inspiring teachers and administrators alike to integrate STEM into everyday instruction. Dacia has been empowering educators to engage students through STEM for more than 20 years. She is known worldwide for her innovative approach to learning and is passionate about building relationships, building the culture of STEM, and building capacity. Dacia and her husband, Steve, work together to bring as many high-quality STEM opportunities to students, teachers, and schools for free. Their nonprofit, Expeditions In Education, allows them to travel the country and bring relevant, real-world, virtual, and face-to-face opportunities to students in the United States and around the world.



Episode #64: Park Pioneers and the Magic of National Parks

Empowering Families to Embrace Adventure Through the National Parks

(Recorded May 9, 2023)

Interview Summary:

In this interview, Dacia Jones introduces us to Expeditions in Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching education by integrating national parks into the learning process. With a focus on promoting environmental awareness and fostering a deep connection to nature, Expeditions in Education offers a range of programs designed to inspire and empower both students and educators.

One of their initiatives is the Park Pioneers program, which takes students on virtual field trips to national parks, bringing the wonders of these natural landscapes directly into their home. Dacia explains how these interactive learning experiences create a sense of awe and curiosity, igniting students’ imaginations and nurturing a lifelong love for the outdoors.

STEAM in the Park is another highlight of Expeditions in Education’s offerings. This innovative summer learning adventure program provides educators with professional development experiences in national parks, emphasizing the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education. By immersing teachers in the natural environment, STEAM in the Park encourages them to develop creative and engaging lesson plans that harness the power of experiential learning.

Throughout the interview, Dacia shares personal anecdotes and insights, demonstrating her deep-rooted passion for education and her unwavering commitment to creating meaningful learning opportunities. She unveils the fascinating characters of Marvin and Huck, who take young readers on captivating adventures in national parks through a series of books. Dacia’s books not only entertain but also provide valuable lessons about kindness and the importance of preserving our natural heritage.

Moreover, Dacia highlights the hidden fireflies scattered throughout the books, using them as symbols of light and hope. Children are encouraged to spot these fireflies, fostering a sense of wonder and reinforcing the power of even the smallest acts of kindness.

Listeners interested in supporting Expeditions in Education and their noble cause can contribute through donations, volunteering, or purchasing the captivating books authored by Dacia Jones. By doing so, they actively contribute to the organization’s mission of transforming education and nurturing a love for the environment in future generations.

Connect with Expeditions in Education through their website,, to explore their work, learn about upcoming programs, and find ways to get involved. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on their latest initiatives and join a vibrant community of like-minded individuals dedicated to inspiring education through national parks.

Prepare to be inspired as Dacia Jones shares her journey, the impact of national parks on education, and the incredible opportunities that lie ahead for students and educators alike. Immerse yourself in this engaging interview and discover how Expeditions in Education is revolutionizing learning through the awe-inspiring beauty of our national parks.

Tonya Wollum


Tonya Wollum is a disability advocate and host of the Water Prairie Chronicles podcast which connects special needs parents with resources to help them navigate parenting a child with a disability. She is the mother of 2 college-age children who have each grown up with a disability. That experience, along with a background in education, led her to create the Water Prairie Chronicles to help share what she has learned with parents of younger children to help them know how to advocate for their children.

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