Flint River GREEN Bridges: Bridging communities, classrooms, curriculum, and careers in the Flint River Watershed
- Ongoing multi-dimensional teacher support begins with a 30 hour summer institute (details below) and continues with at least 4 additional workshops throughout the school year.
- Our 10 – 12 week flexible science unit guides teachers and students through hands-on, citizen science data collection and analysis alongside local water quality experts and community stakeholders to answer the guiding question, “How healthy is our stream for aquatic organisms and how do human action on land impact the health of the stream?”
- The curriculum works toward multiple Next Generation/Michigan Science Standards and many cross-curricular connections with a focus on constructing explanations through claim, evidence, and reasoning using a stream health phenomenon.
- Teacher teams participating in the program will facilitate student-led community action projects centered on water quality stewardship as the culminating activity.
- The design of the Bridges program is grounded in NOAA’s Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences.
- This unit emphasizes place-based education which is a project-based learning model that immerses students in the stewardship of their own communities. We are guided in this endeavor by Discovering PLACE in University Outreach at University of Michigan – Flint.
The project supports training and materials for schools that immerse a group of 6th – 8th grade students (options for high school expansion) in a 10-week, hands-on, placed-based, citizen science curriculum which includes the following:
- Multi-teacher teams from each school (at least two or more). Preference is given to those schools working toward an eventual school- or district- wide systemic integration of watershed education across grade bands and content areas.
- Completion of a 30-hour summer institute focused on watershed literacy, youth voice, content area cross-collaboration, and core unit curriculum pieces.
- In addition to the summer institute, participants will complete two to four additional training sessions and ongoing coaching to complete the professional development throughout the school year.
- Students will participate in at least two outdoor field study experiences, with one being water chemistry testing at a local stream.
- Students will explore green STEM careers by communicating with local experts throughout implementation of the unit.
- Students will present data and project components at annual Student Summit held in late May.
- Each teacher team will facilitate a culminating student-led community action project resulting from the analysis of water chemistry data. $500 mini-grant available per school.
- Teachers will provide water quality data, ongoing feedback, and student artifacts to program organizers.
2019 Summer Institute Photos
•$500 stipend awarded to each teacher completing the Summer Institute
•$500 mini-grant awarded to each school implementing a student-led community impact project. Funding could be used towards project materials, bussing, or subs with opportunity to leverage for additional funds as needed.
•A packaged, yet flexible unit of study plus loaned classroom materials fully supporting NGSS CCCs, DCIs, SEPs and the Michigan Science Standards as well as additional support in Math, ELA, CRE, and the C3 Framework for Social Studies.
•Access to local, regional, and national career professionals and education resources.
For additional information on the pilot or for teachers interested in applying to be part of the next cohort, please contact Autumn Mitchell, Education Programs Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (810)-767-9491
Teacher training for the core Flint River GREEN program (a precursor to the implementation of the Bridges program) is scheduled each February. Please contact the Programs Manager for more information on this essential training.