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This is one in a series of posts presenting sample elements of a possible proposal. In their illustrative details, its contents are both fictional and factual; however, its overall approach has won grants for similar purposes.

 

Goals. The long-term goal will be to contribute to improving local capacity to apply decision-making, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills to using sustained and effective watershed resource management practices in the Saco River Watershed. The short-term goal will be to build local capacity for educational reform in teaching Science in 12 rural, suburban, and urban districts by training 60 participants (36 teachers, 24 community members) in existing, high-quality standards-driven, inquiry-based model curricula for Watershed Education, such as Project WETLANDS, Project WETLANDS Aquatic, Project RIVERS, and materials of the Maine Blue Waters Stream Ecology Program.

 

Objectives. Objectives will include: (1) to increase 36 teachers’ use and infusion of existing, inquiry-based Watershed Education model curricular materials into teaching Science in grades 6-12, as measured by pre-post teacher surveys and observation checklists; (2) to increase 60 participants’ (36 teachers, 24 community members) knowledge of ways they can use existing, inquiry-based Watershed Education curricular materials to increase students’ critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, as measured by pre-post participant surveys; (3) to increase 36 teachers’ knowledge of strategies for integrating environmental careers into Science instruction in grades 6-12, as measured by pre-post teacher surveys and observation checklists; and (4) to increase students’, teachers’, and community members’ knowledge of environmental issues impacting the health of the Saco River Watershed in southern Maine, as measured by pre-post participant surveys. All objectives will be to be accomplished by the end of the grant period.

 

Training will advance school district, community, and state goals. Each district’s Comprehensive Plan emphasizes expansion of training for classroom teachers in inquiry-based science, cross-disciplinary studies, community resource integration, career exploration, and higher order thinking skills. The project also will advance the goals and priorities of the Saco River Corridor Commission, the Maine Conservation Commission, and the Maine Water Resources Board’s Strategic Plan (2007-2017). These goals and priorities include improving and protecting water quality in the watershed and educating members of the public about the role of the Saco River in Maine’s and New Hampshire’s historical and economic development and future prosperity. 

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