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Learn how to engage youth with nature

Educators can learn strategies for integrating environmental literacy and stewardship into the classroom at the Teaching Environmental Literacy mini-conference on January 30.

The event will include resources on the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The Kansas City Environmental Education Network, Science Pioneers and the Greater Kansas City Writing Project are hosting the event.

The mini-conference will be held 8 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, January 30 at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO. Tickets are $50 per person, or $85 for two. Register online here. To receive the group discount, contact Shea O’Riley at 816-460-2261. For more information, click here.

Sessions include:

What’s In Your Water

Explore the movement of water through the atmosphere, geosphere and biosphere. In this session, recognize water distribution and scarcity, observe how a watershed works through modeling, compare and contrast the amount of water flowing through a river and its watershed based on weather and seasonal change, and utilize topographical maps to recognize how landforms impact water quality. Target audience: Grades 6 – 8. Instructor: Wendy Parrett, Education Consultant, Missouri Department of Conservation.

Outdoor Learning Environments

In this session attendees will learn how to use the outdoor environment to engage multiple learning styles that may otherwise not be engaged in a traditional classroom setting, explore the possibilities that exist outdoors for activities that would be disruptive if done indoors, and design a site for multiple learning uses in multiple subject areas beyond science class. Target audience: Pre-K – 12. Instructors: Michelle Chavey, Greg Porter, and Ryan Walters, Architects, Hollis and Miller.

The High Price of Settling

Water runoff affects everything – the environment, wildlife and people. Through a hands-on, interactive model that is easy to replicate in the classroom, educators can investigate water quality issues due to excessive precipitation, weathering and erosion of different land surfaces and topography, engineer and test possible solutions to minimize environmental impacts from runoff, explore point source and non-point source pollution, and investigate legal water issues. Target audience: Grades 3 – 12. Instructors: Alaine Hudlin, Kansas City District education coordinator, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks; Cheri Miller, district manager, Wyandotte County Conservation District; Diane Maddox, 6th grade science teacher, Leawood Middle School.

Can I Grow Food?

Growing food is one of the best ways to teach and connect students to their food and the environment. This session will integrate ecology, science, nutrition and writing to answer these questions: What is the purpose of each part of a plant? How is a plant affected by its habitat? What parts of plants are good for us to eat? Participants will create plans to meet classroom objectives. Target audience: Pre-K – 5. Instructors: Lois Hutchins, Beanstalk Garden children’s coordinator, Kansas City Community Gardens; Claire Sinovic, garden and nutrition educator, Kansas City Community Gardens.


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Tom Ruggieri
8 years ago

A participatory CSA is a great way for youth to see and help with real-life food production. We are in our 13th season and have kids and young adults that have come to the farm every year of their life to help harvest, wash vegetables, weed, mulch, and otherwise participate in sustainable agriculture as a regular part of their life.