WORKSHOP SESSION 6
TUESDAY, 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
The Value of Purple Martins in Education
Joe Siegrist, President, Purple Martin Association
The Purple Martin is a bird species forever linked with humans. As a result of invasive species and habitat loss, they can only nest in human provided housing. A Purple Martin colony provides an amazing opportunity to give the public hands-on interaction with a species that was permanently affected by our actions. Incorporation of a martin colony in an environmental education setting gives educators the tools to cross multiple disciplines. From biology, to history, to art, to geography…Purple Martins can touch it all. Learn in this workshop what it takes to start and manage a Purple Martin colony and the breadth of educational opportunities that they provide.
Project WET for Pre-K: Welcoming Water Wonder in Early Learners
Julie Travaglini, Allegheny Land Trust
This workshop will explore the Project WET curriculum guide and discuss techniques to incorporate STEAM into water play in the early childhood classroom. How can we incorporate water into dramatic play time? Fine motor skills activities? What experiments can we do with water? Water can be everywhere in your classroom!
Talking and Teaching about Climate Change and Solutions
Brooke Smokelin, Environmental Educator
Pittsburgh based documentary filmmaker Kirsi Jansa has created a 10 episode short film series called Sustainability Pioneers which focuses on people and communities in the US and in Europe that are taking action and creating effective solutions to the climate crisis. Teaming up with environmental educator Brooke Smokelin they have developed Sustainability Pioneers classroom curriculum and activities to encourage constructive and positive conversations around climate solutions inspire civic participation rather than overwhelm and apathy. Screening of Sustainability Pioneers and discussion and suggested activities will be explored.
WATER, LAND & AIR: Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art, & Mathematics in Urban Communities
Laura Branby & Wendy Kedzierski, Creek Connections - Allegheny College; Dr. Paula Purnell, Sense of Place Learning
Sense of Place Learning LLC (SPL) incorporates Creek Connections into their successful Water, Air & Land after-school program. The curriculum is designed to encourage students living in urban communities to become citizen-scientists by conducting physical, chemical and biological assessments of their local ecology. Creek Connections and Paula Purnell, D.Ed. will share some of their activities exploring communities through history, heritage, ecology and the arts. We'll highlight the partnership between SPL and Creek Connections and discuss methods for incorporating creek studies and other environmental education topics into the meaningful exploration of place.
An Interpretive Walk: Planning, Strategies and Field Walk Techniques
Doug Wentzel, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center
Using the unique features of McKeever ELC for inspiration, this field walk is an introduction to interpretation for those who want to lead walks. Topics include thematic planning, group management strategies and the field walk techniques you can use to engage and connect your audience to your resource. Along the trail we’ll focus on the late winter ecology, including trees, birds and serendipitous moments as they arise. Dress appropriately; bring water and binoculars (and some binoculars will be available to borrow).
Taking Your School Garden to the Next Level
Hannah Blinn, Student, Allegheny College '17
This workshop presents educators with a lesson series that can be used alongside a school garden, whether it is a traditional garden or an alternative garden, like a hydroponics system, that encourages the procurement of garden food into a school’s cafeteria. The goal of the lessons are to be inherently interdisciplinary and use school gardens as a place to explore complex challenges currently being addressed in the real world around food access. The lesson series encourages students to think critically about school gardens from perspectives among the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and allow them to experience a form of education that differs from the traditional discipline-based pedagogy present in today’s education system. This workshop will begin with a presentation of the lessons and then allow participants to engage in a few of the lesson series activities.