Environmental Workshops for Elementary School Teachers
- Doylestown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
A recent study on environmental readiness completed by the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education revealed that Pennsylvanians lack a basic knowledge of the environment and have a poor grasp of environmental issues. As a result, the vast majority of Pennsylvania residents want environmental education to be taught in local schools. However, the ability to successfully integrate environmental education in the classroom is a challenging task, especially in elementary schools where many teachers enter the classroom with a limited background in science.
In response to this problem, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided funding to Doylestown Township to work with Heritage Conservancy and the Peace Valley Nature Center to assist the Central Bucks School District, the third largest district by enrollment in the Commonwealth, in offering a summer science training program for its elementary school teachers.
This collaborative effort consisted of collecting a variety of educational materials to supplement the existing science curriculum for the second, fourth and fifth grades covering the topics of above and below the sea, seeds and plants, rocks and minerals, ecology, classification, and mealworms. These materials were then presented to the teachers in a series of workshops, providing hands-on learning experiences for them to incorporate into their classrooms. The training program supported the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for the Environment and Ecology.