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Education Programs: Professional Development

Are you a science or environmental educator looking for professional development training? Whether you are a teacher choosing an in-service day program, homeschool teacher, naturalist, or manage outdoor recreation programs, you can breathe new life into your curriculum by participating in an environmental education workshop! These workshops will introduce you to national, award-winning, environmental curriculum. The curriculum guides are used by formal teachers and other educators working with students in pre-K through grade 12. They are designed to be hands-on, instructionally sound, easy to use, interdisciplinary, and fun. The workshops are exciting, engaging, and powerful learning experiences, where you will receive the latest materials, learn to teach science education activities both indoors and outdoors, and walk away inspired and more knowledgeable about the natural world around you.

All workshops are facilitated by Jeanette Henderson, Program Manager of the Ecosystem Preserve and certified facilitator of PLT and WILD Workshops. They can be held at your location, or at the Bunker Interpretive Center. Fees for each workshop are listed below, and include instruction, workshop materials, curriculum book, and certification. Additional fees may apply to cover mileage if outside of Kent County. A minimum number of 12 participants is required to run a workshop. If you have questions, or would like to schedule a workshop, please contact Jeanette Henderson.

Workshop Topics

Project Learning Tree (PLT)

Instruction focuses on students in grades: K-8
Time Requirement for Certification: 6 hours
Cost: $35 per participant
A program of the American Forest Foundation, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Project Learning Tree is a source of interdisciplinary instructional activities that uses trees and forests as a window on the world. The program is designed for educators working with youth from Pre-Kindergarten to grade 12. PLT's curriculum and activities help to increase students' awareness and knowledge of the world around them, as well as their place within it. Students learn to use critical and creative thinking skills, develop informed decisions on environmental issues, and gain confidence to take responsible action on behalf of the environment. For more information about PLT and the curriculum guides, click here.

Growing Up WILD

Instruction focuses on students in grades: PK-5
Time Requirement for Certification: 4-6 hours
Cost: $45 per participant
A program of the Council for Environmental Education, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program for 3-7 year olds that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature, and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, this program provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature, along with lifelong social and academic skills. For more information about Growing Up WILD and the curriculum, click here.

Aquatic WILD

Instruction focuses on students in grades: K-12
Time Requirement for Certification: 6 hours
Cost: $45 per participant
A program of the Council for Environmental Education, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Aquatic WILD is a curriculum and activity guide featuring 50+ lesson plans about aquatic wildlife and aquatic ecology. Designed to be used with grades K-12, many of the activities contain field investigations enabling students to learn methods and protocol for conducting scientific investigations, as well as STEM activity extensions, which make use of a variety of tools and instruments. The curriculum is proven to be effective, scientifically sound, based on current standards, and helps to prepare highly qualified educators. For more information about Aquatic WILD and the curriculum guides, click here.

Flying WILD

Instruction focuses on students in grades: 3-8
Time Requirement for Certification: 4 hours
Cost: $35 per participant
A program of the Council for Environmental Education, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Flying WILD offers a whole-school approach to environmental education, using birds as the focus. This award-winning program is targeted for the middle-school audience, but is widely adaptable. Students will learn about and celebrate migratory birds, through activities involving language arts, social science and math experiences, coupled with community outreach and service learning applications. Flying WILD offers practical, hands-on classroom and outdoor field investigation experiences, connecting real-world experiences in bird biology, conservation and natural history. It provides activities that demonstrate how to help birds and their habitats, and even how to implement a bird festival at your school. For information about Flying WILD and the curriculum, click here.

looking at books

trees through magnifier

resource game

look at bug

water pictures

bean activity

bird craft

find tree game