OCCA offers watershed course for teachers

Jan. 17—The Otsego County Conservation Association is offering educators a free workshop on incorporating local watershed studies in their curriculum. The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the A.J. Read Science Discovery Center on the SUNY Oneonta Campus.

The "One Day Watershed" workshop will introduce participants to the "Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience," an OCCA media release said. MWEEs are "a learner-centered framework that focus on investigations into local environmental issues and lead to informed actions," according to the release. In MWEEs, students are engaged in classroom and outdoor activities that build knowledge and skills through hands-on activities. Participants in the workshop will become familiar with the MWEE framework, and how to integrate it into their curricula. MWEEs promote environmental literacy and support New York State Science Learning Standards, according to the release.

"MWEEs are an ideal way to integrate experiential learning into a classroom curriculum, said Liz Brown, OCCA curriculum specialist. "Students become invested in their MWEE projects as they work with their teacher to research a local environmental issue, collect and synthesize data, and design an action project that will positively impact their community."

The workshop is suited for in-service and pre-service teachers, as well as non-formal educators, the release said. Participants should prepare to spend some time outdoors. Lunch will be provided, and all attendees will receive a packet containing worksheets, an educator's guide, and some classroom materials.

For more information or to register for the workshop, visit http://tinyurl.com/3hmnf79n or call OCCA at 607-547-4488. The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Bay Watershed Education and Training program and is co-sponsored by the A.J. Read Science Discovery Center.