As schools prepare for the 2020/2021 school year, more districts are relying on remote learning to deliver educational content during the global pandemic. Here at Warren County SWCD, we remain committed to aiding fellow teachers and educators in providing environmental education.
We are offering many virtual options for programming as well as providing electronic resources for educators. These options can be explored through our new Virtual Classroom page on our website!
We are also working in collaboration with other Southwest Ohio educators to develop a one stop website with multiple online lessons, activities, and videos. We will continually update and add education resources so stay tuned!
2020 has seen a significant increase in remote learning options and curriculum due to the coronavirus pandemic. Great collaborations and partnerships in the education world are creating amazing online learning opportunities. Project WILD from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is no exception!
For the new WILD about Remote Learning Page the organization states, "As universities, colleges, and schools move learning online in the wake of the coronavirus spread and COVID-19, many educators are interested in how to conduct WILD activities remotely. See below for ideas and resources to guide students through WILD activities at their own location. If you have additional ideas or resources, feel free to send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay WILD and healthy!"
Here at Warren County SWCD our education staff has created some video lesson content to support some of these online Project WILD activities!
As schools transition to remote learning for the rest of the school year, Green Ninja has a great end-of-the-year project to help students apply the science they've learned in a fun and rewarding way. Students can create science-themed films about environmental solutions and submit their work to the Green Ninja Film Festival. Teachers can use our story and filmmaking lessons to prepare students to make their films and to improve students' communication skills. The Film Festival will be judged by scientists and artists and the winning films will be screened at our virtual event.
What is it? The Green Ninja Film Festival (GNFF) encourages young adults to create films about environmental solutions. The program started as a research study in 2013 supported by NSF to increase student agency in science through filmmaking and storytelling. After seeing positive results in the community, teachers requested a film festival every year since then. This year, we are opening the festival up to anyone affected by COVID-19 as this would provide a great end-of-the school year experience!
Entry into the film festival requires a short film accompanied by a digital portfolio that includes justification of the underlying science in the film as well as audience analysis. Judges will select the winners based on the film and digital portfolio. These elements help provide focus on school-based science while also giving students the full freedom to use their imagination to design the types of films they think will be impactful to their audience.
Who can participate? Everyone! All teachers and parents are welcome to have their students submit their own films to the festival. Having students create their own environmentally themed films is a great project that can be completed at home. We have mainly focused in middle and high schools, but we welcome elementary student films as well!
What resources do you provide? For teachers and parents who want to use our lessons, you may access them here. We've curated 5 lessons from our Grade 6 unit on Scientific Storytelling that include the following:
Submission Requirements To submit to the Green Ninja Film Festival, please submit your materials to email@example.com.
Where: Comfort of your own home
Attire: Formal pajamas
Links to the live online event will be sent to finalists and provided on the blog post here.
Thank you so much for participating in this year's Green Ninja Film Festival! We're excited to see what students create!
While we have shared some native plants that serve as Ohio Symbols, there are still more! You probably already know some of them, even if you don’t realize it. Has anyone ever called you a “Buckeye”? That term is a reference to the State Tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree featured in our last blog. Let’s take a look at a few more of our state’s symbols!
April is Ohio Native Plant Month! The white Trillium, and other Ohio State Symbols, that Are Also Native Plants!
Starting in kindergarten, Ohio students begin learning about the importance of national and state symbols. Here in Ohio, we have many state symbols of significance. From the Ohio state wildflower the White Trillium to the state native fruit the Pawpaw, here are some fun facts about Ohio state symbols that are also valuable native plants!
As we celebrate the legacy of Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife ecology in the United States, I wanted to share an amazing resource for teachers: The Leopold Education Project. The LEP is an interdisciplinary environmental education curriculum. Targeted mainly to middle school and high school students, it can also be adapted for use with families, adults, and elementary age children.
Its goal is to create an ecologically literate citizenry by heightening student awareness of the natural world; fine-tuning the skills necessary to read the landscape; and instilling a love, admiration, and respect for the land so that each individual may develop a personal land ethic.
The objectives of the Leopold Education Project are:
The LEP curriculum is distributed by a volunteer network of State Coordinators, who organize workshops to train formal and non-formal educators throughout the country. LEP State Coordinators also have access to discounted rates on the LEP curriculum, so workshops are an excellent (and economical) opportunity to add Leopold’s land ethic to your teaching toolbox.
To learn more and to find a state coordinator or purchase this LEP curriculum, visit The Aldo Leopold Foundation.
As we find ourselves half way through the 2019-2020 school year, teachers and educators are still reaching out to schedule classroom programs for their students. While this is a service that WCSWCD is privileged to provide, sometimes schedules do not align to physically bring an education specialist in. But do not fret! We are still here to help supplement your students' curriculum in a variety of ways. One great resource we offer is our Program Loan Portal. We can provide many education tools including research and hand out materials, posters, and entire program kits available for loan free of charge to entities in Warren County. Program materials must be requested in advance and may be borrowed for up to seven days. Materials can be picked up at the Warren County SWCD office located at 320 E. Silver St., Lebanon, OH.
These kits provide lesson instructions and materials to use in your classroom or with your student group. Topics available for loan include fossils, water cycle game, water ecosystems, and more!
For a full listing of available loan kits visit our education page!
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) promotes and defends accurate and effective science education because everyone deserves to engage with the evidence. NCSE works with teachers, parents, scientists, and concerned citizens at the local, state, and national levels to ensure that topics including evolution and climate change are taught accurately, honestly, and confidently. They also support parent groups that are active in promoting responsible science education to their children. One of these groups is Climate Parents. Sierra Club's Climate Parents is a diverse national movement of parents and families mobilizing for bold clean energy and climate solutions.
"NCSE was pleased to collaborate with Climate Parents in resisting legislation aimed at undermining the integrity of science education in states across the country, supporting a scientifically accurate and pedagogically appropriate treatment of climate change in revised state science education standards in a number of different states, and in criticizing misleading material about climate change in social studies textbooks submitted for adoption in Texas."...
It is up to all of us to ensure that the next generation has the tools and knowledge to succeed and thrive in a sustainable way!
Read full article HERE.
There are so many connected issues in the realm of environmental science and stewardship. As so aptly addressed in a recent conference on climate and education, one way to engage students in this discipline is from the standpoint of solutions. As Katharine Wilkinson from Project Drawdown says, "The classroom is such a powerful place for bringing together the multiple dimensions of this topic." Schools, she adds, "are places where all of these different facets of human beings come into one place, and I think teachers have an incredible capacity for helping students grapple with and understand these dimensions."
To read full article from NPR, click image below