May 14th, 2012 Bob
Greetings Oklahoma Educators,
Since the 2011-2012 school year is coming to an end soon, we wanted to update you on the FREE summer training opportunities with the OK Green Schools Program, Inc. We will need at least 15 registrants to implement each workshop, so bring a friend or members of your Green Team! If you will sign-up for our Updates list serv here: http://www.okgreenschools.org/updates/ (minimal postings), you will receive details and a registration link by July 1. Or, you may email me your summer e-dressfor my individual notification list.
We are still working with our host sites to pin down the dates, but are aiming for the weeks of July 23-27, July 30-August 3 or August 6-10. This year’s training events will be only two hours, with several events including optional tours of the site.
Oklahoma City: Metro Career Academy (+optional tour)
Stillwater: Skyline Elementary (+optional tour)
Ada: East Central University (ECU)
Tulsa: Location TBA (+possible tour)
Weatherford: Location TBA
Have a great summer!
Susie Shields Derichsweiler
OK Green Schools Committee
May 8th, 2012 Bob
We are working with the University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation to invite you to take an online survey about teaching climate change in secondary science courses.
This survey is intended for middle and high school science educators who teach in the Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia). We are interested in hearing from you whether or not you currently cover climate change in your classroom.
The results of this survey will guide the development of a new Project Learning Tree secondary module that will focus on climate change impacts on southern forest ecosystems, forest impacts on climate, and ways people can affect these relationships. The module is being developed primarily for science and agriculture courses in grades 9-12, with potential use in middle school or community college courses as well.
If you teach secondary science in the Southeast, we welcome your input through completing this survey, which will take 10-15 minutes.
Your responses will be recorded anonymously to protect your identity to the extent provided by law. You may stop answering questions at any time. There are no risks or benefits to participating. There is no compensation for your participation, only the knowledge that you have contributed to the development of this educational resource.
Please click the following link to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TRHYYWL
Your thoughts and opinions are very important to us. Thank you!
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact
Dr. Martha Monroe
PO Box 110410
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
University of Florida
Phone: (352) 846-0878
April 25th, 2012 Bob
May 18th has been designated as the 7th annual national Endangered Species Day, and is an opportunity for people young and old to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions that people can take to help protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining open space. Every year, thousands of people throughout the country celebrate Endangered Species Day at parks, wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, botanical gard ens, libraries, schools and community centers. You can participate in festivals, field trips, park tours, community clean-ups, film showings, classroom presentations, and many other fun and educational activities. You can also plan your own school-wide Endangered Species Day event.
Depending on your school schedule, you can plan events earlier in May, on Endangered Species Day (May 18) itself, or that weekend. Once a specific activity is planned, the class can register on the Endangered Species Day website at www.endangeredspeciesday.org, which also offers a variety of special resources (including handout materials that can be downloaded and printed).
For additional information, contact David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director at email@example.com
April 13th, 2012 Bob
The OSU Department of Entomology runs a Cooperative Extension Service program throughout the state entitled Insect Adventure. They are Oklahoma’s only live bug petting zoo and specialize in interactive presentations to schools, 4H, fairs and many other events. These presentations are very engaging and fun for kids of all ages and they strive to make them as full of good science as is possible in 60 minutes. Insect Adventure focuses on the PASS requirements and tailor presentations to meet the needs of educators in the state, not remain merely a “cool” field-trip.
Watch a tour of Insect Adventure featuring OSU President Burns Hargis
April 13th, 2012 Bob
A CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
Firefly Watch combines an annual summer evening ritual with scientific research.
Join a network of volunteers.
Observe your own backyard.
Track your progress online and interact with fellow Citizen Scientists.
Help scientists map fireflies found in New England and beyond.
No specific scientific training required.
Participating in Firefly Watch requires just a fraction of your time.
Learn more about getting involved.
What We’ll Learn
The Museum has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College to track the fate of these amazing insects. With your help, we hope to learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies and their activity during the summer season. Fireflies also may be affected by human-made light and pesticides in lawns, so we hope to also learn more about those effects.
Learn more about the environmental factors affecting firefly habitats.
As the summer progresses, we’ll update this site with what we’re learning. We hope you’ll check in often, ask your own questions, and join our growing online community.
April 6th, 2012 Bob
March 26th, 2012 Bob
Take a moment to celebrate National Wildlife Week and get outside, take a hike, look for wildlife or give them a hand. At NWF we have a lot of great resources available for the week and beyond. Check out the website and get your own posters, activities, service project ideas and much more… www.nwf.org/nationalwildlifeweek.
Looking for a quick, fun way to celebrate – Grab your phone/camera and head outside – Join NWF’s Mission on Project Noah
QUICK – Before its to late
TWO AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES – LAST CHANCE
Craig Tufts Scholarship essay nominations for students 8-18 are due March 30th. This is a chance to receive an all expense paid trip (food, lodging, flight) for child and chaperone/parent for a once an lifetime adventure in the Rocky Mountains. Enter now for consideration. Www.nwf.org/craigtufts
Big Green Help – Nominations are due March 30th for consideration to receive $25,000 for your school to assist with Greening your School. All it takes is 250 words to describe your project. www.nwf.org/bighelp or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a nomination form.
Upcoming Events/Webinars – REGISTER NOW
School Greening Webinar Series sponsored by Eco-Schools USA
April 11, 2012: Exploring Biodiversity Globally – STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE – Explore the world of Butterflies in Costa Rica – local experts will discuss their work and how to engage where you live. REGISTER
Wildlife Webinar Series sponsored by Certified Wildlife Habitat
April 18th at 7:00 pm EST – Bats Basics – Celebrate the Year of the Bat – Learn about bats, threats to bats, and how to help these beneficial creatures. REGISTER
May 3rd at 7:00 pm EST - Teach about Bats in your classroom and in the field – This webinar will present activities, resources, and lesson plans to help you teach about bats in your class and in the field REGISTER
May 10th at 7:30 pm EST – Ask a Landscaper – Home Edition – Ask an professional landscaper how you can design, implement and maintain a beautiful garden and still benefit wildlife. Support May as Garden for Wildlife Month www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife – Pre-register by sending email to email@example.com
May 15 at 7:30 pm EST – Create a garden for Wildlife – Learn the basics of creating a wildlife habitat that will attract a diversity of wildlife where you live, or work. Support May as Garden for Wildlife Month www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife – Pre-register by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org
School Ground and School Gardens Webinar Series sponsored by Schoolyard Habitats
April 25th at 4:00 pm EST - Outdoor Gardens = Outdoor Teaching – Learn how you can turn your school garden into a classroom for any subject at any age. Pre-register by sending email to email@example.com
May 9th at 7:30 pm EST – Ask a Landscaper – For Schools or Other Educational Settings – Ask how you can turn your garden into a teaching tool and add beautification to your school. Support May as Garden for Wildlife Month www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife – Pre-register by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org
March 25th, 2012 Bob
Greening STEM: The Environment as Insptiration for 21st Century Learning
Increasing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) knowledge and expanding STEM education and career opportunities for students is a national priority. Student achievement in STEM is key to fostering a new wave of innovators who can creatively address complex 21st century challenges.
The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in meaningufl, hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas. From calculating planting area and productivity in the school garden, to designing model wind turbines, to tracking invasive species with GPS technology, environmental projects inspire students to apply STEM as they develop innovative solutions to local issues.
Recognizing the role of the environment as an portal for STEM learning, EE Week’s 2012 theme is Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning. During the week of April 15-21, 2012, K-12 educators of all disciplines are invited to explore how the environment can motivate students to study STEM across subject areas by taking advantage of:
- Free EE Week planning toolkits with information and grade-appropriate activities that incorporate STEM learning into popular environmental topic areas.
- Two free educator webinars on using the environment as a context for teaching STEM for educators, with school-based project ideas and opportunities for Q&A with experts and educators.
- Discounts, giveaways and special offers from our partners.
Register today by visiting www.eeweek.org/register. Registration is free and easy and, in addition to the benefits above, connects you to a national network of educators dedicated to increasing the environmental knowledge of K-12 students.
March 16th, 2012 Bob
ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO IN OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 1742 — one of two bills attacking the teaching of evolution and of climate change active in the Oklahoma legislature during 2012 — is dead, having died in committee on March 1, 2012, when a deadline for bills in the senate to be reported from their committees passed. The other bill, House Bill 1551, remains active, having been passed by the House Common Education Committee on February 21, 2012; HB 1551 appears not to have been scheduled for a floor vote in the House yet.
SB 1742 was modeled in part on the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, passed and enacted in 2008 as Louisiana Revised Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1; indeed, the bill itself declares, “This act is modeled on a Louisiana law which has not been invalidated by the highest court of the State of Louisiana or a federal district court.” Its sole sponsor was Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who described a previous legislative effort of his as “requiring every publically funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution.”
For NCSE’s previous coverage of events in Oklahoma, visit:
CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“After many years in which evolution was the most contentious issue in science education, climate change is now the battle du jour in school districts across the country,” the Wall Street Journal (March 11, 2012) reports. And the battle is likely to heighten with the release, expected in April 2012, of a draft of a new set of model science standards based on the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education; global climate change is a component of one of the Framework’s core ideas.
“Most climate experts accept those notions as settled science. But they are still debated by some scientists, helping to fuel conflicts between parents and teachers,” the Wall Street Journal observes, citing recent controversies in Portola Valley, California, and Clifton Park, New York, over the teaching of climate change. NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott told the newspaper that like evolution, climate change is “settled science,” adding, “We shouldn’t fight the culture wars in the high-school classroom.”
States will individually decide whether or not to adopt the new standards. But the Wall Street Journal predicts that “the approach to climate change could be a sticking point for some states,” citing South Dakota’s legislative resolution that climate change should be taught as a “theory rather than a proven fact.” Martin Storksdieck at the National Research Council replied that students would be misled by such a pedagogical approach: “What would be conveyed to them is not how science works—it’s how politics works.”
For the story in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), visit:
For A Framework for K-12 Science Education, visit:
For NCSE’s illustrative list of recent controversies over climate
change education, visit:
VOICES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION
NCSE is pleased to announce the debut of a new resource in the climate change section of its website: “Voices for climate change education.” Following the model of Voices for Evolution, NCSE’s unique collection of organizational statements endorsing the teaching of evolution, “Voices for climate change education” assembles organizational statements endorsing the teaching of climate change. Included so far are extracts from the National Research Council, the US Global Change Research Program, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the American Geological Institute, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, the American Chemical Society, and UNESCO. The full text of these statements will be added in the future. So will further organizational statements endorsing the teaching of climate change—so if you spot any, be sure to let NCSE know!
For “Voices for climate change education,” visit:
For Voices for Evolution, visit:
Thanks for reading. And don’t forget to visit NCSE’s website— http://ncse.com—where you can always find the latest news on evolution and climate education and threats to them.
February 21st, 2012 Bob
Oklahoma High School students are invited to create an audio-video public service announcement to promote recycling awareness. This contest is a part of the Oklahoma Recycling Association’s (OKRA) America Recycles Day campaign and is graciously sponsored by Greenstar Recycling and OG&E. The purpose of America Recycles Day is to raise awareness of the importance of recycling across the state. The deadline for entry is October 31, 2012.
“Really? Don’t trash it, Recycle It!” is the theme for this year’s contest. This audio-video message should emphasize how recycling saves natural resources and energy and reduces pollution. Entries must contain all original material and may include real life experiences. Cash prizes will be awarded to all correctly submitted entries with larger amounts given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winning entries. Winning Entries will be announced on America Recycles Day, Thursday, November 15th, 2012. For the rules and entry forms, go to: here. Or visit the OKRA website. For more information contact: Chris Feeney, Education Chairman at Chris.Feeney@okdhs.org.