Flint River GREEN Bridges: Year 1 Complete!
The 2019-2020 school year was an exciting roller coaster of events! In our first year of our expanded program, we faced public health issues that kept our students indoors and learning in new ways beyond the intended Bridges curriculum. Bridges is a 10-week, robust, interdisciplinary watershed education curriculum for 6th – 8th grade students and is paired with ongoing teacher professional development opportunities which assists educators in providing meaningful watershed education experiences for youth. The program hinges on water quality monitoring at a local stream and allows students to explore their communities and work together with community partners to explore stewardship action.
In the fall of 2019, our community was struck with a mosquito-borne illness called Easter Equine Encephalitis (EEE) which prevented all but two of our schools from implementing their fall plans. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures further prevented our remaining five pilot schools from implementing the Bridges program during the 2019-2020 school year. Program staff worked diligently to provide teachers will complimenting distance learning materials and three teachers were able to assign these lessons virtually for their students in the spring of 2020. Despite all of these complexities, fifteen teachers progressed through the training opportunities and speak favorably about the potential for this program. We are pleased to have received such positive feedback in our pilot year evaluation report.
Check it out for yourself here: Evaluation Report: Bridges Pilot Year 2019-2020
Flint River GREEN partners with the Genesee Intermediate School District’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program
The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and supported by the U.S. Department of Education, has awarded us as one of 29 environmental education organizations across the nation to receive funding to provide enriching after school watershed-related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects. These Watershed STEM Education Partnership Grants allow environmental education organizations to collaborate directly with the 21st CCLC sites on the design and implementation of locally relevant, out-of-school-time programs that develop students’ environmental literacy and leadership skills as they improve their communities. The funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by NAAEE.
Students in our program will learn about STEM and watershed stewardship while also building leadership and advocacy skills by participating in exciting hands-on learning activities and connecting to nature. We will facilitate this program in partnership with Discovering PLACE, Genesee County Parks, and Civic Research Services, Inc.. Due to current public health guidelines, the program is still being designed and is evolving quickly. Our program launch is anticipated for the fall of 2020. Over the summer, we offered professional development opportunities co-designed by our partners as we became familiar with each others’ programs in an effort to design the best-fit experiences for our local youth participants. Activities will include an exploration of the local community at Genesee, Mt. Morris, and Atherton schools along with water quality monitoring and a culminating youth-led action project.
These grants are part of eeBLUE, NAAEE’s effort to build collaborative partnerships that support the mutual STEM education goals of NOAA and the U.S. Department of Education. More information to come soon!
Stewardship At Home
Teachers, students, and families will find easy ways to take care of their watershed from any setting with our new and developing resources found at our Social Distancing Stewardship in the Watershed page.
- Ideas for easy action projects
- Virtual learning activities
- Water quality lesson plans for teachers
- Links to other great resources