Laura Goff and Lily Cason, from our Sound Education team, taught and facilitated two teacher workshops last week around Snohomish County. In 2017, Snohomish Conservation District provided 7350 student contact hours, 305 classrooms sessions and 6 field trips. In order to accomplish this feat, we need the help of interested and inspired K-12 teachers.
With school out for the summer, we offered two different workshops. One is called Project WET, and the other is called Green Schoolyard.
Project WET at Brightwater Center in Woodinville, WA
“These were great ideas to add to my science curriculum!” said one 3rd grade teacher after participating in the Project WET workshop on June 25th, 2018. Snohomish Conservation District and King Conservation District held the workshop at the Brightwater Center. Participants explored local water issues and became certified in Project WET curriculum.
Tumbling across the floor, teachers acted like rain droplets as they made their way downhill towards a "stream." “Vegetation” tagged the passing droplets to slow down their journey. With the "vegetation" removed, the rain droplets made it to the stream in half the time.
Through hands-on activities like this one, teachers learned new ways to engage students in water education. These ten Project WET Educators expect to reach over 550 students next school year.
Green Schoolyard at Everett Community College in Everett, WA
Teachers across Snohomish County came together to learn about local stormwater issues while exploring techniques to engage their students. During the two-day workshop, local guest speakers shared information about why stormwater runoff is a problem Including the impacts on juvenile Coho Salmon to Orcas, and how to create habitat and rain gardens to alleviate issues. The workshop was held in north Everett so teachers were able to take a walking tour with Apryl Hynes from the City of Everett to see North Everett neighborhood rain gardens in action. After hearing from these experts, teachers then learned how to utilize the NGSS Engineer Design process to explore the schoolyard ecosystem and address runoff issues with students.
From one of the teachers: “My greatest takeaway is that anything is possible! Start small, and expect projects to take time.”
While it was a lot of information packed into two days, teachers left with a better understanding of our local water systems and were energized with ideas for doing schoolyard projects with their students. We look forward to seeing what projects these teachers come up with!