Birds, toads, and butterflies. Milfoil, water celery, and cattail. The Hudson Valley is full of flora and fauna that lend themselves to citizen science. How can these opportunities become teachable moments for younger students? We invite teachers and other educators to find out. Join us this winter to explore existing projects and test out ideas of your own with science specialist Jennifer Reid and THV. "Teaching with Citizen Science Projects" is open to all — pre-k, environmental and park educators, and the public, as well as teachers. The course will begin with an in-person session, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, February 24, in the Wallace Visitor and Education Center at the Home of FDR and Presidential Library in Hyde Park. The remainder of the class will be online and asynchronous, i.e., you’ll log in weekly at your convenience to get assignments, see what your colleagues are thinking, and share your insights. Participants will have until April 12 to complete the readings and all activities. To be eligible for 15 CTLE hours, participants must complete an activity or lesson plan, post it to the class website, and allow THV to share it more broadly. There is a $30 fee for the class, and we need at least 15 registrants to make it happen. The main text is "Citizen Scientists: Be Part of Scientific Discovery from your Own Backyard" by Loree Griffin Burns with wonderful photos by Ellen Harasimowicz (2012, 80 pp, Square Fish/Macmillan). Working through the book — it’s pitched for 8-12 year olds — we’ll explore butterflies, birds, and frogs. Facilitator Jennifer Reid teaches at Gidney Avenue High Tech Magnet (GAMS), a preK-5 school in the Newburgh (NY) Enlarged City School District. Last year she worked with all grades as a science specialist. She also managed the science museum including an outdoor courtyard, gardens, a pond, and greenhouses. Jenn earned a BS in biology at SUNY New Paltz and an MA in special education and K-6 teaching at Stony Brook University Graduate School. Jenn coordinates science nights and expos at GAMS and this fall she involved students in A Day in the Life of the Hudson River, the annual program organized by NYS DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
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