Teacher and Youth Leader Training: Educating the Educators
The NRWA is a Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education Professional Development Provider. The best way to extend our outreach to the children of our watershed is through working with teachers, administrators, and youth leaders on ways to incorporate environmental education lessons into their curricula and programs. The NRWA’s professional eduators:
- Provide workshops on science topics for schools and school districts, with science kits purchased by school districts and curriculum projects.
- Run workshops in education pedagogy, such as place-based lessons for a schools or districts which need science assistance. NRWA worked closely with the staff at J.R.Briggs Elementary School, using The EIC ModelTM, to create a school-wide curriculum that integrated environmental education with all disciplines. This program was recognized with an award for Excellence in Environmental Education by the MA Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
- Offer workshops in three national training areas, Project WILD, Project WET and Project Learning Tree, and can design them according to the requirements of the school or group.
- Lead workshops on science topics such as invasive plants, macroinvertebrate collection, forest ecology, and more.
- Help your school design curriculum to utilize a specific conservation property or schoolyard with inclusion of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire science frameworks. These projects also have service learning complements. For example The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR) Curriculum Model Project which addressed use of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge in Harvard, MA and “Service Learning in Lunenburg, MA: Fifth Graders Use Math, Science and English Language Arts While Investigating Different Ways to Address Invasive Species.”
- Assist teachers in developing service learning projects that blend with their curriculum and school service requirements. Projects range from trail building and maintenance, to invasive controls, to building pollinator gardens and blue bird nest boxes.
- Collaborate in MITS Museum Institute for Teaching Science for the Merrimac River Valley Region, providing two week summer institutes for teachers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
- Make presentations at conferences of the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society and the New England Environmental Education Alliance.
Occasionally, the NRWA offers 3-credit courses through Fitchburg State University. Our Environmental Education Director, Mary Marro, has Adjunct Faculty status and will set up courses for specific groups or the general public.