BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — STEAM is an education model which uses science, technology, engineering and math, to explore subjects. One nonprofit stopped in Kentucky as they “Cross America” teaching children and educators the importance of this approach. 

What You Need To Know

  •  Dacia Jones and her husband founded Expeditions in Education

  •  She teaches STEAM learning and outdoor education 

  •  Expeditions in Education will stop in 10 states

“Everyone has a voice and everyone has a choice.”

Elementary students all across the country have heard this reminder—thanks to Dacia Jones, who is traveling across the country. She is teaching fourth graders at Alvaton Elementary School, in Bowling Green, the benefits of STEAM learning and collaborative teamwork—and connecting these lessons back to problems in the national parks. 

“All of this is just to encourage kids to solve real-world problems, to be good humans,” Jones said. 

Having been a teacher for 20 years, Jones left her job about 6 years ago and began traveling across the country with her husband, working with schools and teaching them about outdoor education and the importance of being outside. The couple founded Expeditions in Education, which works with national parks and schools.  

“When you allow students to use their talents to help others, that’s where the academics come into play,” Jones said. 

They challenged the creative minds of Alvaton to create a prototype that would solve a problem facing salamanders in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. 

Samuel Sanders and his teammate used toilet paper rolls for their contraption. 

“Usually I know what I’m going to have when I build something, but I never knew what we were going to have, so I thought with all these toilet paper rolls I could cut them in half and make this,” Sanders said. 

And teamwork is in full display.

“It’s hard by ourselves because we need to listen to other people’s ideas,” fourth grader, Jaelia Torres, said.  

A National Park Foundation grant allows Jones and her husband to travel to ten different states, empowering students and educators at no cost to the schools. 

“I want kids to think outside the box, to think outside of their classroom, outside of their school, I want to bring the walls of the world closer in,” Jones said.