High school teachers apply lessons learned in workshop
On Thursday, June 26, the School of Geography & Earth Sciences in the Faculty of Science will take on this challenge through the second annual Learning and Leading Workshop, where high school teachers get first-hand instruction from university researchers.
"We are very fortunate to have support for this workshop from the National Geographic Society, via the Canadian Council for Geographic Education (CCGE)," said Pavlos Kanaroglou, chair of the School of Geography & Earth Sciences. "This funding has meant that the numbers have almost doubled. The direct impact is that with 30 teachers, we are actually influencing hundreds of high school students, and in turn our community and environment will be a better place."
The teachers are from Grimsby, Chatham, Brantford and Hamilton. They will hear presentations from local environmentalists, such as Linda Lukasic from Environment Hamilton and Toni MacNeil from Green Venture Hamilton. They will also hear Michael Ball from the Ministry of Education Environmental Education Initiative and Michael Mercier, assistant professor in the School of Geography & Earth Sciences.
The teachers will participate in two hands-on experiments prepared by Sean Fletcher in the School of Geography & Earth Sciences and receive kits to take back to the classroom. Maureen Padden will lead the first experiment, which will help teachers familiarize themselves with the methods used to separate chemicals from environmental samples. The other experiment led by Luc Bernier will introduce teachers to methods used to measure phosphorus concentrations in water samples from lakes, ponds and rivers.
"The intent of this workshop is to instruct teachers in current methods, tools and concepts and then have these teachers take these concepts back to their classroom to guide and motivate their students through projects in geography and earth sciences and to encourage them to communicate the relevance and importance of these fields in their teaching," said Deane Maynard, organizer of the Learning and Leading Workshop.
The experiments will be followed by an afternoon field trip to downtown Hamilton led by Walter Peace with a focus on human geography and a field trip to Spencer Creek trail in Dundas led by Luc Bernier with a focus on physical geography. The field trips will assist teachers in developing their students' skills in observation, inquiry and description.