Last month, teachers and educators from around Northern California came together for a weekend to learn about best practices for science education with a Forestry Institute for Teachers+ (FIT+) workshop. FIT+ is a new professional development program from the Northern California Society of American Foresters and UC Cooperative Extension Project Learning Tree. This workshop is an extension of the Forestry Institute for Teachers, which focuses on curriculum from Project Learning Tree and Project Wild. The Forestry Institute for Teachers also hosts lectures from foresters about best practices and lesson plan development using the program's curriculum guides. FIT+ on the other hand, concentrates more on the Project WET curriculum and hosts guest speakers that talk about all varieties of ecology.
Teachers practice one of Project WET's lessons. This kind of hands-on experience makes them more likely to use a lesson in their own classroom.
The educators had a fun-filled, well-rounded, educational weekend. They connected with one another and practiced the Project WET curriculum, by physically doing some of the activities as well as creating mock units for their classrooms that integrate Project WET activities and other resources. In addition to getting acquainted with the curriculum guide, the teachers were treated to two educational lessons, and a trip down to the Lower Yuba River. The first lecture was by Doug McCreary, who gave an overview of oaks in California and the role they play in our foothill ecology. SFREC Director, Jeremy James followed with a lecture about invasive species, how they invade and the impact they can have in our ecosystems. While down at the Yuba River, teachers practiced interpreting river health through analyzing the benthic macroinvertebrates that were collected with the help of Kelly Santos of Sierra Streams Institute.
Proud graduates of the first SFREC FIT+ workshop, ready to bring their new curriculum back to their students.
Look out for the return of FIT+ to SFREC in the upcoming year!