Archive for the 'Education' Category

Back to School Week: Outdoor Adventures

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Learning orienteering with Texas Outdoors Tomorrow’s Outdoor Adventures Education programs

This is Passport to Texas Back to School Week

The Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation partners with Texas Parks and Wildlife to bring Outdoor Adventures Education to middle and high school students.

We promote the outdoor adventures education program across the United States, and primarily in Texas.

Scot McClure is Education Director for the organization.

There’s not another curriculum like it in the entire United States. Although our program has expanded beyond Texas, we are primarily a Texas Parks and Wildlife education program.

The Outdoor Adventures course offers one or two semesters of daily lesson plans that may include Angler Education, Boater Education and Hunter Education. Students who complete these classes earn certification. There’s also Dutch oven cooking, orienteering and more. McClure says these classes count as physical education.

Any student can take this class as a PE class if the school offers it. Every school in the state of Texas can offer Outdoor Adventures. It is 100% available to every single student in Texas. If their local school doesn’t have Outdoor Adventures, then they need to find the right decision-maker; maybe it’s the principal, maybe it’s the curriculum coordinator, or the school board. And say: We want Outdoor adventures in our school so our children can learn these skills and enjoy them [for a lifetime].

Find a link for the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation at passporttotexas.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Back to School Week: Aquatic Science

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Texas Aquatic Science Teacher Handbook

This is Passport to Texas Back to School Week

Of all the things that students study this year when they return to the classroom, Texas Aquatic Science may be among the most important.

Texas aquatic science is the study of anything aquatic. Whether it be the habitat, the plants, or the animals that live in it.

Melissa Alderson is the conservation education manager with Texas Parks and Wildlife. For most living things, water is life.

So, it’s really important that we look at water as a resource and protect the water that we have here.

Melissa and her team train middle school and high school teachers in this hands-on aquatic science curriculum. Educators impart the information to students both in the classroom and in the field.

And if they don’t have any water in their backyard, they can always contact a certified field site. Those are agencies that have programs that do water quality monitoring, watershed activities…where they can take a field trip to do Texas aquatic science.

The benefits of Texas aquatic science curriculum are far reaching.

If we get the kids, at a young age, to protect those resources through science investigations, games, models, internet projects, then when they get older, they’re going to be the ambassadors for the water here in Texas.

Bring Texas Aquatic Science to your classroom; learn how when you click the Education tab on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program Supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Back to School Week: Texas Children in Nature

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Children connecting with nature. Image: www.texaschildreninnature.org

This is Passport to Texas Back to School Week

Richard Louv coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” in his 2006 book, Last Child in the Woods. Three years later, the Children in Nature Network formed.

And the real work began: to reconnect children and families with nature around the state.

Jennifer Bristol coordinates the Texas Children in Nature program at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We work with over 500 partner organizations to look at how does the education, the conservation, the built environment, the faith communities, the different youth development communities, health community—all work in tandem to make sure that we are doing our very best to connect more children and families with nature.

Children spend between 7 and 11 hours indoors with media. Health experts attribute this sedentary lifestyle to a rise in childhood obesity and behavior issues.

When they’re not connected with nature, those things are more prevalent. Versus if they’re outdoors and they’re active and they’re enjoying playing in nature—those are healthy life choices that stick with them for their entire life.

Teachers can help improve the future of our youth.

What I talk to teachers about all the time is any lesson can be taught outdoors. It’s very beneficial; they’re more engaged while they’re out there. And most teachers that take that step out the door see good results.

Find classroom resources on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website—click the Education tab. And, the Nature Rocks Texas website points families to nearby nature-based activities.

Our series receives support from RAM Trucks; built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Back to School Week: Training the Trainers

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Project Wild Curriculum & Activity Guides.

This is Passport to Texas Back to School Week

Texas educators can help nurture future land stewards by teaching students conservation education curricula in partnership with Texas Parks and wildlife. It all starts with a workshop.

Most of the workshops [involve] actually doing the activities themselves, and then discussing them among themselves as educators.

Kiki Cory coordinates Project Wild, part of the conservation education programming available from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Project Wild and Aquatic Wild are K-12; they are actually used in a lot of college for teacher training. And then Growing up Wild is for 3 – 7 year olds.

Although the new school year is here, teachers have not missed their chance to receive training.

Once school starts, the end of August first of September, we have a quiet time so that the teachers can get their feet back on the ground and into their classrooms. But, by the end of September, we start seeing workshops pop up again, and they pretty much go year-round.

The beauty of these conservation education programs, like Project Wild, is that the concepts may be woven through all educational disciplines—from art to science.

The activities can be games, or they can be art projects, or they can be research projects; they’re all interdisciplinary. Elementary teachers love that because they can mix them in.

Bring the Texas outdoors to your classroom; learn how when you click the Education tab on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Back to School Week: Outreach & Education

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Bringing nature to the classroom. Image: texaschildreninnature.org

This is Passport to Texas Back to School Week

You might wonder why Texas Parks and Wildlife trains teachers to provide outdoor education and conservation curricula, when many groups statewide already address those areas.

So, typically, if you’re working with school groups, you’ll have a more diverse audience, and a more diverse representation of the population than you would in a self-selected or volunteer group.

Johnnie Smith is director of Outreach and Education for Texas Parks and Wildlife, which offers wide ranging programs.

Under Outreach & Education, we have angler education, boater education, hunter education—all of our outreach and recruitment efforts [like the Texas State Fair]—and then lastly we have a section that’s called conservation Education. Those are the folks that work directly with school-aged children and teachers.

Conservation programs include Project Wild, TCiN and community water curricula. Teachers receive training and resource materials so they can expose students to natural resources, wildlife and habitat.

Because, what we find is, that until somebody establishes an affinity for nature, they’re not likely to ever develop a conservation-minded approach, or stewardship approach. And so, we hope that that investment in the kids will yield us folks that are stewardship and conservation-minded in the future.

Bring the Texas outdoors to your classroom; learn how when you click the Education tab on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Our show receives support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.