iSWOOP is a professional development program that helps park rangers bridge the gap between the public and the researchers. Project staff seek to build expertise within the interpreter and ranger community. Staff engage with the researchers on site, and host sessions to help the rangers interpret complex data, and then to ask informed questions of the researchers. When the rangers come to a deeper understanding of the research, their interactions with visitors are also transformed. Rangers learn from iSWOOP to guide visitors to answer their own or each others’ questions in order to build scientific literacy.
iSWOOP is a way to bring scientists, educators, and interpreters together to foster a better understanding of science that’s going on in national parks, to really enhance STEM learning for visitors.
—Dr. Louise Allen