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Activities and Delivery Methods. The project will use several Watershed Education model curricula (RIVERS, WETLANDS, and WETLANDS Aquatic) as primary Environmental Education resources. Teachers and community members will complete one or more of the models’ training processes. Once trained, partners will encourage the participants to commit to training others in using the model curricula in their classroom and community contexts. The curricular resources were selected to promote critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills and responsible approaches to issues in natural resource conservation, protection, and management in the Saco River Watershed.

 

Teachers and community members of the 12 local districts always will have first priority for all training in the Watershed Education model curricula. As appropriate, the project also will open training slots to teachers in other districts and to residents elsewhere in the Saco River Watershed.

 

The applicant will coordinate closely with its 21 partners. Through their classroom and field training experiences, participants will learn and practice methods for comparing benchmark data (sample blanks) to site water samples; using and converting metric units; applying scientific methods of observation, data collection, and analysis; caring for field and lab equipment; testing for physical and chemical properties of water (e.g., pH, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, phosphates, nitrates); and collecting and reporting samples of insects and fishes. They will learn interactive curricular activities in extensive curricular guides for use in Watershed Education. In addition, they will learn uses of displays for demonstrating concepts in Watershed Education such as tabletop creek models, stream hydrology trailers, and groundwater flow models. Participants also will learn how to equip and use water quality sampling kits for fieldwork and classroom demonstrations and how to integrate Internet-based resources in reporting, sharing, and studying data.

 

YCESC will arrange a training workshop series on watershed-related Environmental Education topics. It will contact sources of training; schedule times and places for the training; notify target audiences of the training places and times; deliver training experiences through its project partners; link local environmental issues directly to the training; implement curricula and programs in local schools and communities; and assess impacts of the training and of local use of the curricula and programs. The YCESC Professional Development Center will host most training events.

 

Several partners will furnish a series of guest speakers. During the school year, they will present to target audiences at YCTC or at one or more schools or community groups on environmental issues impacting the health of the Saco River Watershed and/or on environmental careers in southern Maine. YCTC will contact partners to arrange presenters; schedule times and places for each presentation; notify target audiences of each presentation; conduct the presentations; and assess the impacts of each presentation. 

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