Teachers Learn To Incorporiate Local Environment Into Lessons
Teachers from across Ocean County are armed with new strategies to incorporate the vast ecology of Barnegat Bay and its surrounding areas into their lesson plans.
The 15th Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Education Roundtable was hosted by the Ocean County Sold Conservation District and held Wednesday at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resources Education in Waretown, and featured a slew of programs that educators could attend.
Seminars included covered a wide variety of topics such as “The Science of Sand”, “Daily Life of the Lenape Indians” , “Endangered Shore Birds Projects.”
Christine Raabe, Assistant Director of the Ocean County Soil Conservation District says the programs feature everything from a program on shark attacks in the state, to one on estuaries, and even
a field trip on a boat. She says all of them include different subject like arts and crafts and history, but are all rooted in sciences.
“We have always tried to do the interdisciplinary approach where teachers can use science to teach about our watershed and our estuaries using math, English, and art.”
Teachers make the trip to the roundtable after class on their own time. Raabe says the programs are especially useful for students who don’t get a chance to experience all the Barnegat Bay has to offer, even if they live in Ocean County. She says one of the recurring goals of the roundtable is to help teachers connect students with their local environment.
With education being on the target end of cuts throughout the state as of late, Raabe says the programs teachers are shown how to teach about the Bar in their own classroom.
They don’t have to go anywhere. A lot of our programs connect with the outdoors just on your school
Raabe notes thirty percent of the attendees have been regulars for the past 15 years, and another thirty are brand new to the program.
With Governor Christie’s ten point plan for Barnegat Bay gaining attention across the state about awareness for preserving the watershed, Raabe says the round table has always focused on the Bay.
“We’ve been at this for a very long time, all of the folks and the partners who work on this have been connected to the bay and the estuary before it was the top news of the governor.”