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Nature Center - Educator Programs

During the summer months and sometimes on weekends during the school year workshops are presented for college credit to teachers of K-12 students. Teachers that take the workshops may be teaching out of their field of expertise, may need a refresher course on a subject, or may need to need to fill the required hours for advanced study. What ever the reason the teachers take the programs, the Nature Center content filled programs have been very successful. The programs help to prepare teachers for classroom activities in the workshop subjects. Teachers say the programs are exactly what they need – “content filled, not on the theory of teaching.” Many times the teachers are not only provided with knowledge of the material but also the materials to use in the classroom to demonstrate the subject matter.

The following are workshops that have been offered over the past two years:

Do you want to add a wildlife habitat to your schoolyard? This is the workshop for you! Learn the facts about bluebirds: feeding habits, nesting boxes, and monitoring bluebirds in your wildlife habitat. Construct your own nesting box and take home a set of plans. Each participant will receive educational material. Bring a hammer and Phillips screwdriver.

Nature Mapping Introduction provides an opportunity for Lawrence County teachers to participate in an exciting new program. Workshops teach participants how to record wildlife and habitat data, develop or improve mapping skills, and conduct field surveys utilizing field-mapping instruments and techniques. Teacher and student observations of wildlife will be the basis of a countywide biological database.

This is a follow-up session to Nature Mapping Introduction. Teachers will learn about data analysis and distribution mapping as well as other more detailed aspects of this program.

Join Jim McCormack from Ohio Department of Natural Areas and Preserves, for a day of bird watching and study. The field trip will begin at the Nature Center with a slide show, and facts on a variety of bird species. We will then walk the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area in search of woodland birds. Afterwards, we will travel to the Crown City Wildlife Area. Crown City is home to 11,000 acres of reclaimed grasslands where many species that we might view are quite rare in Ohio, including Blue Grosbeak, Dickcissel and Henslow's Sparrow. Bring a sack lunch, binoculars, camera, hat (recommended) and comfortable, sturdy footwear. Registration required.

Join Becky Ewing, Fisheries Biologist with the Wayne National Forest, for a day of stream monitoring activities. Learn how to sample, keep data and how to involve your classroom in a "Save Our Streams" (SOS) program. Learn the different types of aquatic insect indicators for water quality. Receive literature and list of materials you will need for a successful monitoring program. Lunch provided, wear appropriate clothes to get wet. Registration required.

he Project Learning Tree (PLT) award-winning environmental education activity guide and secondary modules are the focus of this workshop. The activities are about forestry as well as the total environment: land, air, and water. It is local, national, and global in scope. The curriculum is easily adaptable to many settings from the classroom to youth groups, nature centers, scout troops and home schools. The Project Learning Tree activity guide and secondary modules are only available to educators when they attend a workshop. The workshops are designed this way to explain the philosophy of the program and explain how the activities can be integrated into your existing curricula. You will expand your knowledge of natural resources and teaching skills, participate in hands-on activities, learn more about forests and forest health, meet and share ideas, information and resources with other professionals and have fun. Teachers, environmental educators, Nature Center personnel and youth leaders are all invited to participate.

PLT Facilitator: Alice Brown, Ohio University Southern.

This program will serve to educate and inform participants about the recent phenomenon of the sudden decline and disappearance of certain species of frogs. Live specimens of frogs, toads, and salamanders will be on hand for close-up observation. A hike is scheduled to find amphibians and identify frog calls. Bring a sack lunch and wear comfortable, sturdy shoes.

Learn the fundamentals of chemical processes! Workshop topics discuss: What do you really know about ozone and the ozone layer? Global Warming-fact or fiction? The terrible truth about acid rain. Why are we afraid of nuclear power? Fundamentals of thermodynamics- Is it Hot or Cold? Combustion-Let's blow it up. Educators will walk away with the knowledge and confidence to demonstrate chemical principals in the classroom. Receive material from the "Wizard Collection" to conduct these inexpensive experiments in your classroom. Bring sack lunch. Instructor: Dr. Robert Culp, Ohio University Southern, Registration required.

What is inquiry-based teaching? Inquiry-based teaching affords the opportunity to do what they do best: investigate, explore and discover, using their own questions, curiosities and interests. An inquiry approach is not orderly, well controlled, or easy to assess. Educators practice activities, examine discovery boxes and use outdoor education in teaching inquiry. This interactive workshop is lead by Alice Brown, Ohio University Southern.

A geology workshop for teachers filled with science content. Candy Picklesimer, Stepping Stones instructor, has participated in Miami (of Ohio) University’s Environmental Education for Teachers summer classes in Wyoming for 14 years, 12 years as a master teacher. The workshop examines geological features of Ohio and connects the geology to educational standards.