The Benefits of Applying Models in Environmental Education: Useful Tips

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1 The Benefits of Applying Models in Environmental Education: Useful Tips Molly Stoddard Prairie Wetlands Learning Center Fergus Falls Wetlands Management District Michael Noonan Canisius College Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

2 The Friend s role in connecting people with nature at the PWLC? Yellow Bus Fund Secure funding for interns Be ambassadors for PWLC

3 A way back in.. connecting people with nature.

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6 The Prairie Science Class th and 5 th graders Staff 4 school district licensed teachers 4 FWS rangers (1 day/wk) Interns

7 The same students ½ day at PWLC Every day of the school year Outside every day Integrated curriculum

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10 Nature Journaling The power of a science notebook combined with real life found in nature

11 Naturalists Ourselves Famous naturalists words and experiences

12 Phenology The study of the timing of natural events and phenomena.

13 Place-Based Education Get to know your local environment REALLY WELL We poke and prod. Depth over breadth

14 How many family dinners last night do you think went like this??

15 Parent: How was school today??? Student: Fine. Parent: So, what did you do today? Student: Nothing.

16 We have to politely ask our child to stop talking about PSC at the dinner table! -More PSC parents than I can count My first time as an equal with my child.

17 PSC parent: Mrs. Davis, I just had to send you a note to tell you how much my husband LOVED the duck banding yesterday he sent me an after the activity and would NOT stop talking about it at supper last night said it was one of the coolest things he s ever done. He kept going on and on and on kept telling Madeline how lucky she was to be in this class Very neat, keep up the great work and thanks so much! :O) He also loved the wondering part I wonder why there s blood on this spot? I wonder how they got that nick on their beak? I wonder why their feathers are zebra-printed in the back? So very cool! jeani

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19 The Compass and Day Use Visits A Way Back In

20 Some Hypothetical Former EE Programs Nature Hike: a ranger-led walk to identify wildflowers, frogs, and bugs. 2 miles long. Who s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Students participate in a variety of activities including a wolf fashion show, newsworthy wolves, wolf and deer game, videos, and making wolf crafts. Crane Dancing (1 st and 2 nd graders): Students learn about sandhill cranes and their behavior through a series of fun activities. Bison - Fact and Fiction: Myths, legends, and basic biology about bison are discussed through a series of activities.

21 The Times They Are A-Changin 1. Interpretive 2. Indoors 3. Stuff and gadgets 4. Breadth 5. Single visit 6. Former state standards

22 Can You Spare Some Change? 1. Interpretive 2. Indoors 3. Stuff and gadgets 4. Breadth 5. Single visit 6. Former state standards 1. Educational 2. Field-based 3. Keep it simple 4. Depth 5. Repeat visits 6. Current state standards 7. Consistent lesson plans

23 Environmental Education Strategy FWS, station, and PWLC missions Station CCP Partners Audience, messages, etc. Making it Happen

24 Making it Happen Current State Science Standards One lesson per grade per season: series

25 Investigations Using KWHL

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32 Canisius College Ambassadors for Conservation

33 Seven program outlets

34 School Presentations 3,700 attendees

35 Buffalo Zoo & Aquarium of Niagara 150,000 attendees

36 Kiosk Programs ca 75,000 uses

37 Web Pages 190,000 unique visitors

38 10,000 viewers Original Video Productions

39 Booklets in production

40 Wetlands/migratory bird program at Iroquois Nat l Wildlife Refuge 11,200 participants

41 The common theme is the use of a Flagship Species as the hook to draw audiences into lessons about conservation

42 Select Canisius Students

43 Field Studies

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56 KEY ELEMENTS 1. Suitable field site - ecologically rich - charismatic element - near population - middle school accessible 2. Choosing select college students - motivated by exciting travel, prestige, stipend 3. Extensive training - in wetlands and forest ecology - in birding 4. Infrastructure/staff for school recruitment - labor intensive (wide advertisement / low return) 5. Exciting/flexible script for field lessons - friendly birding competition - overt coaching for upcoming contest 6. Ecology based games - pictionary and jeopardy style (somewhat boisterous)

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58 Lessons Learned

59 Tap prior experiences of others N American Assoc for Environmental Education National Environmental Education Foundation EPA Teaching Center Curriculum Resources Other EE Programs

60 Partner With Others School districts Friends groups Conservation clubs Retired teachers Foundations Universities Scientists

61 Develop a proactive strategy We recommend Rhythms of the Refuge

62 Depth, not Breadth Don t try to teach everything

63 Focused goal Don t overshoot

64 Focus on local lessons Your place Your species Your local ecosystem

65 Get outside Use your local environment at your classroom Minimize sit and listen events Minimize video presentations

66 Teach to the Whole Child Balance cognitive lessons with multi sensory ones

67 Strive for Emotional Lessons Make them care about the natural world

68 Avoid Ecophobia

69 Logistics Kids need potties, lunch breaks, etc. Buses need parking, turn arounds, etc

70 Start Small Conduct a pilot project

71 An Overarching Model The Compass Model Flagship Species others

72 Application in Practice: A Workshop Exercise

73 Setting: A hypothetical Beau Fleuve NWR

74 Conditions: Gulf coast Wetlands Migratory Birds, etc. Recent oil spill etc.

75 Task: Sketch out EE plan utilizing Compass Model

76 Place Based Phenology Naturalists as Teachers Nature Journaling

77 Feedback

78 Questions Comments Applications at your site Discussion

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