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Land Labs Strand

Outdoor Learning Spaces in the Era of COVID-19

Weds, October 28, 9:15am – 10:30am

How do real teachers use their schoolyards for outdoor learning? Take a virtual walk around the actual outdoor spaces used by three elementary school teachers. They’ll share their techniques for including outdoor learning regularly, and even how the schoolyard is helping them adapt to COVID-19.

Presented by: Cheryl Ryan from Red Oak Community School, Lauren Metcalf from Vinton South Elementary; and Noreen Sullivan and Krista Taylor of Mercy Montessori.

Best for teaching: elementary school

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Land labs, community partnerships, and the merits of getting students outside

Thursday, October 29, 10:00-11:00am

Does your school not have a land lab on campus? No problem! High school science teacher Kip Brady will walk you through how he and his students collaborate with private landowners to study the ecological differences between mined and unmined lands in Tuscarawas County.

Presented by: Kip Brady from New Philadelphia City Schools

Best for teaching: middle or high school

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The Big Map-Out!

Friday, October 30, 3:00pm – 4:15pm

How a regenerative farm and local school district created a nature-based K-3 unit flexible enough for distance learning, in-person school, and everything in between (and how you can do it too).

Presented by: Meredith Florkey from Agraria Center for Regenerative Practices, Project of Arthur Morgan’s Institute for Community Solutions

Best for teaching: Early childhood/elementary school

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OHIO Museum Complex and mAppAthens: Teacher Resources for Experiential Learning … at home, in the classroom, outdoors, and in the museum!

Thursday, November 5, 2:00-3:00pm

We share a collection of resources for teachers and students from the OHIO Museum Complex, including our Virtual Museum Portal that brings the world directly to your classroom. Join us and virtually visit the Amazon rainforest, or the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Explore the Great Barrier Reef or virtually visit a National Park!

In-person activities include experiential learning in our Outdoor Museum on The Ridges, together with an immersive nature gallery on the second floor of Lin Hall that collides hands on art activities with history, geography, and local biodiversity collections. Finally, our web-based app, mAppAthens, features online tour maps that transform our own fascinating region into an outdoor museum for active, place-based learning experiences for learners of all ages. Explore an array of topics including art, wellness, history, geology, ecology, and much more. Some of our tours have been translated into multiple languages; others include 360 video and/or sounds. If you are not in Athens, Ohio, these tours can still be viewed online. Join us, and help shape what’s next!

Presented by: Nancy Stevens, OHIO Museum Complex, Ohio University

Best for teaching: Elementary, Middle, High School

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Chieftain Elementary Land Lab Tour
Socially Distanced Field Experience

Sunday, November 1, 9 am to 12 pm

Join educators Rachel Kallimanis, Holly Borer, and volunteer Jason Kallimanis for an exploration of the paths, pond, field, and more that make up the Chieftain Elementary Land Lab. We’ll learn how teachers have utilized the space to get kids learning and loving the great outdoors.

Presented by: Rachel Kallimanis, Holly Borer, and Jason Kallimanis from Chieftain Elementary, Logan-Hocking Schools

Chieftain Elementary
28296 Chieftain Dr.
Logan, OH 43138

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Water Strand

Water, Water Everywhere

Tuesday, October 27 , 1:00pm 2:00pm

Water touches every aspect of our lives—the cells in our bodies, the food we eat, the recreational activities that we enjoy, the weather that affects our daily lives and much more! is a self-directed educational resource about different water topics—ranging from global to personal perspective—which together reflect many of the complex and important roles of water in our lives. Participants will be led through three (listed below) of the eight interactive modules that are free activities located at Project WET’s

  • The Water Cycle
  • Investigate Fresh Water
  • Explore Watersheds

Participants will also be briefly introduced to the online self-paced educator course to obtain the 2.0 Project WET Educator Guide. We will also tie everything together talking very briefly about the Ohio Environmental Education Fund (only Ohio educators) and how educators can apply for mini grant funding (up to $5,000) to purchase any of the materials from the Project Wet Store.

Presented by: Dennis Clement from Ohio EPA Office of Environmental Education

Best for teaching: elementary school

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Waste and Water

Wednesday, November 4, 2-3pm

Learn two hands-on activities that help kids see how our waste impacts our waterways, with Perry County recycling educator Katrina Carpenter.

  1. Fred the Fish – a visual, hands-on lesson about the journey of a fish named Fred as he travels a local Ohio perennial stream.He encounters every possible pollutant including non-point and point source pollution, such as basic litter left at a park picnic sight, fertilizer and pesticides over-applied in a nearby residential yard, motor oil dumped on ground from someone who changed their own oil.
  2. Edible Landfill – another visual, hands-on lesson where you build a landfill from the bottom up, then eat it! Using crushed graham crackers, Oreos, pudding, etc. This lesson helps students and adults understand the importance of BAT (Best Available Technology) in sanitary landfill construction, one layer at a time, BAT is required by law and monitored by our local health department and the EPA to protect our groundwater from potential contamination.

Presented by: Katrina Carpenter from Perry County Waste Reduction and Recycling

Best for teaching: elementary school

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My Backyard Stream

Thursday, November 5, 11:00am-12:30pm

Explore water quality issues specific to Appalachia! Learn from the creator of the “My Backyard Stream” project. The project includes virtual reality experiences, lesson plans, and a participatory mapping project in which students submit their stream data for use in research at Ohio University’s Voinovich School.

Presented by: Jennifer Bowman from Ohio University Voinovich School

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Headwater Streams: Exploring Appalachia’s Capillaries
Socially Distanced Field Experience

Sunday, November 8, 1:00-4:00pm

Participants will explore a headwater stream in Hocking County to search for biological indicators of water quality such as salamander larvae, mayflies, and a most amazing fish: the mottled sculpin.

Location: Camp Oty’Okwa
24799 Purcell Rd
South Bloomingville, OH 43152

Best for teaching: all grades

Led by: Joe Brehm and Sarah Fisher

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Phenology Strand

Aldo Leopold and Phenology

Wednesday, November 11, 5:00-6:00 pm

The Leopold Education Project (LEP) is an innovative, interdisciplinary, critical thinking conservation curriculum based on the classic writings of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. LEP teaches the public about humanity’s ties to the natural environment in the effort to conserve and protect the earth’s natural resources.

Leopold’s writings are both sound science and excellent literature, and they can be used as a springboard for meaningful environmental education. By experiencing the Sand County Almanac essays, along with relevant activities, students learn decision-making skills that will aid them as they develop their own land ethic and deal with current environmental issues. By exposing students to a variety of viewpoints and positions, they hone their problem-solving skills. LEP utilizes the outdoors as its learning lab.

The original curriculum focuses on middle and high school, but in this presentation, I will share how I have adapted the activities for kindergarten through second grade.

Presented by: Susan Setterlin, Ohio Coordinator for Leopold Education Project

Best for teaching: early childhood

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The Effects of Pesticides on the Behavior of Wood Frogs

Monday, November 9, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

In this session Courtney will discuss her current research on Imidacloprid and hydroperiod effects on exploratory and risk-taking behavior in wood frogs. Courtney will discuss her experimental design, how she is analyzing her data, and the behaviors seen during her behavioral trials. She will discuss ways you can easily adapt her methods to your classrooms and get your students engaged in the study of animal behavior.

Presented by: Courtney Silver-Peavey, PhD candidate from Ohio University’s conservation biology lab

Best for teaching: middle and high school students

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Phenology of Breeding Amphibians

Friday, Nov 13, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

In this program, we will talk about phenology through the lens of amphibian breeding. The breeding of amphibians is among the most precisely timed natural, annual events here in Ohio and gives us a great way to educate kids about the importance of cycles and climate in nature, using a diverse group of native species. We will discuss biology, conservation, and climate change and go through some program ideas that might make these lofty concepts more tangible for kids.

Presented by: Andrew Hoffman, PhD candidate from the Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources

Best for teaching: Elementary and middle school

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Phenology Hike in the Hocking Hills
Socially Distanced Field Experience

Saturday, November 14, 10am

Go on a rugged off-trail hike from Camp Oty’Okwa to a parcel of land owned and managed by Crane Hollow Preserve. The hike will focus on phenology and how different plants and animals are preparing for winter and the coming spring. We hope to show you a state endangered fern species and maybe even a bat or two.

Led by: Joe Moosebrugger from Crane Hollow

Camp Oty’Okwa
24799 Purcell Road
South Bloomingville, OH 43152
(Meet at the Camp Oty’Okwa visitor parking lot)

Register Here

Interdisciplinary Environmental Education Strand

The Magic of Mud Play!

Monday, November 16, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

We will explore how to recognize & integrate learning in child-initiated, open-ended, spontaneous play in mud, sand, & water.

Presented by: Marne Parmalee from Children’s STEM Garden, LLC

Best for teaching: early childhood

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Teachable Moments via Open-Ended Questions About the Seasons

Tuesday, November 17, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

We will look at how teachers can use children’s curiosity about nature to help foster a curriculum that has a phonology focus. Looking at specific examples and broader topics we will see how these organically play out in a classroom. Through a group discussion we will work through a curriculum idea that focuses on seasons as well as adhering to specific interests of children.

Presenters: Kim Swart and Carly Cambert from Ohio University Child Development Center

Best for teaching: early childhood and elementary

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Virtual STEAM

Tuesday, November 17, 1-2pm

Museum educators from the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery will share their experiences from designing virtual summer STEAM programs.

Presented by: Staff from Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery

Best for teaching: elementary school

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Environmental Education in the Math Classroom

Weds, Nov. 18, 1:00-3:00

Environmental education isn’t only for the science classroom. It can be incredibly powerful (and fun) to integrate nature across the curriculum. Participants will consider ways they can address environmental issues in their math classrooms. We will brainstorm what math topics lend themselves to environmental contexts and see how our math tools provide urgency to environmental issues. Teachers will have time to plan an upcoming lesson together.

Presented by: Maggie Owens, Rural Action environmental education volunteer and high school math teacher

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Role Playing and Civic Engagement: Creating a Plan for Public Forest Land

Thursday, Nov. 19, 11:00am-12:30pm

Participants will learn about the U.S. Forest Service, the Wayne National Forest, and will participate in a role-playing scenario to simulate the forest plan revision process, which the Wayne National Forest is currently going through and looking for participation from local youth.

Presented by: Rachel Neuenfeldt and Kyle Brooks from Wayne National Forest

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Acknowledging the Nature of Children: Basing Work on Authentic Experiences
Socially Distanced Field Experience

Saturday, November 21 (time TBD)

It’s in the nature of children to work with their hands, move their bodies, ask questions, and create meaning. When we work within a framework that embraces these needs, children are excited to learn more about their world. Their resulting work is often complex, interdisciplinary, and involves higher order thinking. In this session, we will explore pathways for working with children to create meaningful academic learning out of authentic experiences.

Led by: Christin Butler and Keith Barron from Solid Ground School

Solid Ground School
13262 Liars Corner Rd,
Millfield OH 45761

Register Here