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Outdoor Classroom Workshop for Educators    

Thu Aug 19, 2010

On August 11th, 2010, SAN partners held a outdoor classroom workshop, educating watershed teachers on ways to incorporate watershed Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as Riparian Buffers, Rain Gardens, and Woodland Gardens, into their classroom curriculum.  The one-day program covered topics such as Habitat Creation on Campus, Streamside Restoration, Outdoor Lessons & Cross-Curriculum Integration, and Funding and Partnership Opportunities.  This workshop has helped the SAN stormwater workgroup identify schools and educators who are interested in partnering with them on implementation projects, particularly its Schuylkill Action Students riparian buffer installation program for school campuses.  The program aims to install several riparian buffers along priority headwater streams during the 2010-2011 school year.

Workshop Program

Creating an Outdoor Classroom – Workshop for Educators

THE LAND-WATER CONNECTION

Presented by Bob Adams, Director of Stewardship

Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association

Website: www.wvwa.orgEmail:bob@wvwa.org

Land and water are really inseparable. Each one protects, feeds and shapes the other. We will have a discussion of the physical reasons behind this, and will then focus on available teaching aids.

 

PONDERING POLLINATION – BENEFITS OF WOODLAND GARDENS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS

Presented by Steven Saffier, Audubon At Home Coordinator

Pennsylvania Audubon

Website: www.valleyforgeauduon.org Email: ssaffier@audubon.org

Woodland gardens can provide a rich foundation for many learning opportunities; they are critical host plants for caterpillars in the spring; provide food and shelter to many birds; demonstrate visual cues of subtle seasonal changes; and become the catalyst for the restoration of natural cycles in often limited spaces.All of these things can be explored, quantified, and enjoyed by elementary school children (and beyond.)

 

They also present less maintenance issues and greater opportunities to observe nesting behavior in the spring and foraging behavior year-round.Other disciplines that can utilize a woodland garden include language arts (journaling, poetry), mathematics (statistics, probability, etc.), phys ed (focus, meditation, etc.) and social (tolerance, stewardship, teamwork, etc.).The gardens can be used year after year and school alumni will be able to see their plants evolve many years after they have graduated.

 

IMPLEMENTING WATER QUALITY BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPs) ON SCHOOL CAMPUSES

Presented by Susan Harris, Watershed CoordinatorTom Davidock, Schuylkill Action Network Coordinator

Montgomery County Conservation DistrictPartnership for the Delaware Estuary

Website: www.montgomeryconservation.orgWebsite: www.DelawareEstuary.org

Email: sharris@montgomeryconservation.orgEmail:tdavidock@DelawareEstuary.org

Discover the benefits of implementing water quality BMPs on school campuses.Methods of designing and implementing water quality BMPs, case studies of completed projects, steps taken to make the projects happen, as well as costs and funding sources involved with project implementation will also be discussed.

ECOEXPRESS.ORG - AN ONLINE RESOURCE BRINGING ENVIRONMENTAL SUBJECTS TO LIFE

Presented by Brie Knight, Director of Operations/Program Manager

GreenTreks Network, Inc.

Website: www.greentreks.orgEmail: bknight@greentreks.org

EcoExpress is an exciting new Online Resource Center loaded with short, age appropriate educational video stories that bring environment and ecology subjects to life. Created by the award-winning television production team at Philadelphia’s GreenTreks Network, this ever-expanding collection of local programs uses the power of visual storytelling to help you meet the challenge of engaging your students and preparing them for PSSA Science tests.EcoExpress provides local story-based video segments (a majority of the stories are filmed in Pennsylvania, many in the Southeast) and aligns them with PA Environment and Ecology standards, backing them up with supplemental educational materials including: teacher’s guides, classroom activities, and community-based service learning project ideas.EcoExpress enables teachers to create personalized playlists and lesson plans that address the specific needs of each individual class.This session will introduce participants to the EcoExpress website and explore the many resources it provides teachers to engage and encourage a new generation of environmental stewards, all while meeting the PSSA Standards.

 

LEARNING WITH NATURE-TEACHING IN YOUR OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

Presented by Gin Ranly, Director of EducationCarrie Ashley, Education and Program Coordinator

Schuylkill Center for Environmental EducationPennsylvania Audubon-John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove

Website:www.schuylkillcenter.orgWebsite: Website: www.valleyforgeauduon.org

Email:vranly@schuylkillcenter.orgEmail: cashley@audubon.org

Outdoor spaces provide many learning opportunities – but only so much as teachers and adults support the students and children who use them.We’ll demonstrate fun and engaging techniques for using your outdoor classroom, including observations, predicting and experimenting, measuring and documenting.Learn some tips and tricks to manage your class outdoors and make the most of what your schoolyard has to offer.  Teachers of all ages and subject areas will receive inspiration and ideas to take back to school this fall.

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