The National Parks Service is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with an exhibit and curriculum for their museum. Ms. Nicole DeLuca, Upper School Social Studies teacher at Montverde Academy, was chosen to create the student curriculum and teacher’s guides for grades 2-12 to enhance the exhibit. Madelyn Moore (’20) an MVA graduate, is also working as an intern on the project with her. Their work will be used by teachers across the country whose classes are learning about Yosemite National Park and the women’s movement.
Teaching is second career for Ms. DeLuca, whose first career was as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service. She spent nine years working throughout the country. During her tenure, she worked with Ms. Laura Goforth, Branch Chief of Education at Yosemite National Park, who brought the project to her attention.
“This is a dream opportunity that combines my passion for nature and the National Parks with my interest in teaching and women’s studies,” said Ms. DeLuca. “Developing curriculum about topics that I’m deeply interested is so great. My past experience is valuable in creating lessons that combine my park knowledge and experience with the 19th Amendment material.”
Ms. DeLuca is creating the grades 6-12 curriculum, while Madelyn is focusing on grades 2-5 lessons. Their curriculum will be used by teachers in the study of subjects such as history, science, natural resources, or women’s studies. The lessons can be used in the classroom, on-site and as a post-visit lesson, and include in-depth pieces for middle and high school students to analyze and discuss, to PowerPoint presentations and scavenger hunts for the younger students to engage and learn with.
“Through her project, Nicole is exploring the impact of the 19th Amendment on the women of Yosemite National Park from historic times to the modern day,” said Ms. Goforth. “Indigenous women, female park rangers, and women visiting the park have been impacted by the legislation that gave women the right to vote. Their stories will all be shared in a digital exhibit on the NPGallery website in August 2020, and on display for in-person viewing at the Yosemite Valley Museum beginning in May 2021. Their curriculum will guide teachers in how to use the exhibit to engage students in exploring both national parks in general, and dive deeper into women’s suffrage, the 19th Amendment and the impact on women’s access to and work in public lands. Yosemite is also excited to bring on Madelyn, a soon to be college student, to assist Nicole with this project. Her assistance has been greatly beneficial.”
Madelyn will attend High Point University in North Carolina this fall majoring in elementary education with a minor in women’s studies. “My goal is to teach fourth grade, so this project is the perfect opportunity to starting learning how to build lessons that engage and teach students,” said Madelyn. “Through Ms. DeLuca’s classes in my senior year, I developed an interest in women’s studies, which led me to pursue that as a minor. The project is ideal, giving me hands-on experience toward my career.”
“I’m thankful to have MVA’s support to pursue opportunities outside the school,” said Ms. DeLuca. “I appreciate the chance to combine being an advocate and park visitor with teaching classes that focus attention on non-traditional areas, such as women’s studies. That support is one of the many aspects that makes MVA stand apart from schools.”
Check out Yosemite Museum Exhibits for information about this amazing National Park.