Posted January 28, 2013
This past fall a group of 10 Bowdoin students took an Environmental Education course taught by Bowdoin Professor Kara Wooldrik. Throughout the semester they learned various teaching techniques, different environmental education approaches, and the importance of environmental education in furthering environmental awareness. Equipped with these new skills, they designed lesson plans and taught kindergarten through fifth grade at Coffin Elementary School and Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School. At the end of the semester the students had a final project in which they had to contribute to the local community’s environmental education opportunities. The students each had very different goals in mind for their projects, which lead to many different, exciting projects. Samples of the projects are listed below.
Over the course of the semester I taught at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Ms. Bailey’s fifth grade class. During my time teaching I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest from the students in my lessons. From my personal experience, I found that I received the most positive response during hands on activities. As part of my final project, I have put together a broad array of at home science experiments and activities. Science and learning do not have to stop when a child leaves school. Through the use of this booklet it is my hope that students will be encouraged to keep asking questions and learning about the world around them. The goal of this booklet is to encourage science and learning outside the school environment. It is meant to be safe for children to do on their own or with the participation of a parent or sibling. These experiments, for the most part, require materials already found in the home. They are low-cost and low-resource dependent.
Click here to see Tess's activity booklet
December 7, 2012—Bowdoin’s Green Athletes held a recycling challenge at the Bowdoin College Men’s Basketball Game versus Colby College. Under the direction of Alex Tougas ’14 and Tricia Thibodeau ’13, 17.5 pounds of recycling and only 2.5 pounds of trash, the latter of which made up less than one bag, were generated. The rate of waste diversion from the landfill was thus 87.5%; at many prior games, this rate has been 0%, so the event was wildly successful.
Click here to learn more about Alex's recycling challenge
This is a sample of photos I took on short visit to the Coastal Studies Center this fall on October 27th. Part of our weekly assignment for this class was to find a way to immerse ourselves in nature and reflect on our experience. For this project, my hope is to inspire members of the Bowdoin Community to get out to local spaces and see some of the amazing natural features in our own backyard.
Click here to see Sarah's Photos
These activities are designed to get children outside, notice details, and form a connection with nature using the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Crystal Spring Farm Trails. The challenges of the booklet are designed to get children to learn factual information about the details they observe and to get others interacting with nature. All that is needed to complete these activities are a pencil and a sense of adventure.
Click here to see the activity booklet
My final project combined my interest in environmental policy with the skills I learned and developed through taking Environmental Education. This involved planning a mini-unit on environmental policy to be taught during high school government class. To create the lesson plans, I collaborated with my own high school government teacher, along with Professor Wooldrik. My government teacher plans to incorporate them into his future government classes.
My final project is a tree scavenger hunt across campus. It takes hunters all over the main campus area in search of different tree species that we have here at Bowdoin. The pamphlet gives hunters clues for where to find a certain tree as well as photos, details for identifying the tree, and fun facts about the tree. The activity is designed to increase our awareness of and appreciation for the silent, strong, towering, wise trees that constantly watch over us all. Being aware of the trees that cover campus as we rush to and fro may help us to pause and take a moment to think about the more contemplative and slow way of life that trees have.
Click here to see the Scavenger Hunt
I explored GRMI's programs through hands on experience in their labs in Portland and direct contact with some of their employees. For my project I developed a "Vital Signs' (which is one program) guide for teachers in Brunswick to use in their classrooms.
Click here to see the program
This nature guide is designed especially for Coffin Elementary School. It contains a variety of different lessons primarily for Kindergarten and First Grade. Lessons can be modified depending on the student's ability and the season. Please use this guide as a way to get outside and think about nature. Even if you are not familiar with teaching about the environment or outside, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know. A lot of the information in this book is very basic, but is designed so anyone can use it.
Click here to see the Nature Guide