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Contact: Wendy Smith, 219-395-1987
On Saturday, November 14, educators, naturalists, scout leaders, and other youth leaders are invited to try their hands at a wide variety of activities they can use to teach about the environment during a Project Learning Tree Workshop at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The workshop is co-sponsored by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the Great Lakes Research and Education Center, Dunes Learning Center and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. It will run from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and is designed for both formal and informal educators working with students in grades Pre-K through 8. During the event, educators will try out a wide variety of hands-on, interdisciplinary activities they can use to teach their students about the environment. Each participant who completes the full six-hour workshop will receive an activity guide packed with 96 broad-based, hands-on, easy to use (and fun) activities! Activities were developed by a team of educators and resource experts and have been tested in classrooms across the country.
As a special bonus, Dr. Laurie Eberhardt will provide a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn about forest research in the park. Dr. Laurie Eberhardt teaches ecology and field biology at Valparaiso University and frequently incorporates inquiry-based field projects in her courses. During this workshop she will describe how she has students assess the browsing damage by white-tailed deer on woody shrubs and trees in oak savannas in the dunes. Workshop participants will learn basic winter tree identification skills and try out a similar method to collect monitoring data that could be used in various wooded parks and school grounds in the region.
There is a $35 fee and lunch is provided. Indiana teachers can receive Professional Growth Points and Illinois Teachers can receive CPDUs for attending the workshop. Graduate credit is also available for an additional fee. Pre-registration is required by November 1, and registration is limited. To register or obtain additional information, visit http://duneslearningcenter.squarespace.com/educators-adults/ or call the Dunes Learning Center at 219-395-9555.
Project Learning Tree (PLT) activities are designed to help educators teach students “how to think” not “what to think” about environmental issues. They also teach higher order thinking skills including observing, analyzing, problem solving, and decision making. PLT activities are interdisciplinary, utilizing social studies, language arts, math, science, reading, art, music, and civics. Each activity lists the objectives, materials needed, background information, step-by-step procedures, assessments, extensions, resources, and more, making the guide very user-friendly.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.