PEI consultant Lisa Eschenbach, along with PEI consultant Pat Otto and Seattle Aquarium’s Karen Matsumoto, taught a workshop in August with Federal Way School District. Below is Lisa’s description of the two-day workshop:
August is my favorite month of the year. We have beautiful weather in the northwest, of course, but I also love the excitement that comes just before the new school-year. This August, PEI started their new partnership with the Federal Way School District. We commenced with a workshop with teachers from Woodmont Elementary and Sahalie Middle Schools. I think we lucked out with a great group of wise and wild teachers that fit right in to our student-centric approach.
To prepare their students for quality field investigations, teachers built their own watershed, collected data on the candy practice transect and developed their own field science questions.
Thanks to the expertise of Karen Matsumoto at the Seattle Aquarium and Rus Higley at the Marine Science and Technology Center, teachers learned first-hand about Puget Sound wildlife, such as barnacles, mussels and the giant Pacific octopus. At the MaST Center in Des Moines, some teachers even got to meet their friendly octopus.
Federal Way teachers join a network of hundreds of teachers and professors around Washington State who are using the Pacific Education Institute’s field investigations and project based learning models to increase their students’ learning.
After completing the workshop, teachers came up with this list of actions they and their students can take to help the Puget Sound. This group of teachers will positively influence our Puget Sound, working with each group of incoming students for years to come. How many of these actions will you take over the next school year? How many do you already do with your students?
- Learn beach etiquette
- Practice water conservation
- Do observations and record data of the species and enter into mapping system
- Complete species survey for environmental awareness
- Do surveys for NOAA
- Leave the beaches the way we find them
- Be kind to beaches and sea life
- Pick up trash
- Become familiar with and build appreciation for the local environment
- Recycle! Pick up after your dog!
- Learn beach behaviors and ways to lower pollution in their environment
- Know that what we put down storm sewers (fertilizer etc.) has a major impact down stream
- Pick up garbage before we leave
- Take time to learn about ecosystems/habitats so they can become responsible citizens
- Be aware of watershed implications for pollution