Game Commission Offers Project WILD Programs for Educators

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With summer recess for schools just around the corner, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is announcing a series of upcoming Project WILD professional development opportunities for educators and Scout and youth group leaders this summer throughout the state.  

Project WILD is an award-winning, international, hands-on conservation education program. Started nearly 25 years ago, Project WILD focuses on wildlife and the environment and how humans interrelate with both. WILD provides educators, primarily kindergarten through 12th grade, with interdisciplinary activities that help address state and national education standards. WILD's materials are scientifically sound and use educational practices proven to be effective.

The basic 500-page, K-12 Project WILD Guide has more than 120 activities to help educators teach skills from observation to synthesis using a variety of environmental-related topics. The activities have been designed so educators can easily incorporate them into almost any classroom curriculum and nearly any subject, such as science, reading, English, social studies, math, civics, physical education or art.

WILD's mission is to provide wildlife-based conservation education that fosters responsible action. WILD's goal is to develop the awareness, skills, knowledge and commitment that are necessary for people to make informed decisions and act constructively and responsibly toward wildlife and the environment.

WILD is one of the most widely used conservation and environmental education programs among K-12 educators. Recognized as the nation's most successful wildlife education program, WILD is bringing hundreds of thousands of students from awareness to action as conservationists worldwide each year.

Theresa Alberici coordinates the program in Pennsylvania through the Game Commission's Bureau of Information and Education. She works closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as well as prominent conservation and environmental education organizations throughout the state and the country. Her dedication to wildlife and environmental awareness, along with her talents in creating curricula and ability to work with educators have earned her recognition from the state Department of Education and Pennsylvania's conservation education community.

"Educators leave Project WILD with a renewed appreciation of wildlife and are excited about how they're going to share what they've learned with their students," Alberici said.  "This year, wildlife agencies nationwide celebrated one million educators 'Gone WILD.' More than one million educators have been trained in the program since Project WILD originated in 1983.

"Project WILD isn't about teaching kids what to think about wildlife; it's about teaching kids how to think about wildlife and giving them the skills they need to become responsibly active citizens who recognize the importance of wildlife and the environment. The milestone of training one million educators means that, through Project WILD, more than 53 million people worldwide have experience in thinking responsibly about natural resources. Last year alone, state wildlife agencies ordered more than 65,000 guides for distribution to educators across the country, reaching 1.8 million students with information on wildlife conservation."

Following is a listing of workshops for educators scheduled for the coming months.  All workshops are approved for Act 48 hours.

JUNE

PROJECT WILD (2-day training): Participants will experience hands-on activities that help address Department of Education state standards.  This workshop is for formal and non-formal educators who work with youth in K-12 grades. This workshop will be held on Saturday, June 5 and 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, at the Prince Gallitzin State Park, 966 Marina Road, Patton, Cambria County.  Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress for the weather conditions as a portion of the class will be held outdoors. To register, please contact Intermediate Unit #8, 4500 Sixth Avenue, Altoona, at 814-940-0233. This workshop will earn educators IU Credit and Act 48 hours.

Orienteering (2-day training): Educators will learn how to use a traditional map and compass, as well as GPS units, and discover how important this new technology is to wildlife and its management.  This opportunity will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, June 9 and 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, at the Game Commission Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711 in Bolivar, Westmoreland County. Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress for the weather conditions as a portion of the class will be held outdoors.  To register, contact Intermediate Unit #1 in Coal Center at 724-938-8722 or www.solutionwhere.com. This workshop will earn educators IU Credit and Act 48 hours.

WILD about Elk (2-day training):  This opportunity chronicles the history and management of elk in Pennsylvania. Meet with elk biologists, habitat managers and Wildlife Conservation Officers and go out to elk range to view habitat and hopefully see elk.  This workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, June 16, from 7 a.m. to noon.  On Thursday, lunch and dinner will be provided.  A small stipend reimbursement is available to help cover cost of travel.  On June 15, participants will meet at Parker Dam State Park in Clearfield County, and on June 16, participants will meet in Benezette Township, Elk County, at the Game Commission's elk viewing area on Winslow Hill on State Game Land 311.  If you are interested in receiving more information and a registration form, email Theresa Alberici at  talberici@state.pa.us, or call her at 717-787-1434.  Participants will earn Act 48 hours.

WILD ABOUT BEARS (2-day training): Educators will explore the world of the black bear and black bear research and management and have the opportunity to view black bears.  This workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, June 16 and 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, at the Game Commission Southwest Region Office at 4820 Route 711 in Bolivar, Westmoreland County.  Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress for the weather conditions as a portion of the class will be held outdoors. To register, contact Westmoreland IU 7 in Greensburg at 724-836-2460 or www.wiu.k12.pa.us.  This opportunity will earn educators IU Credit and ACT 48 hours.

APPLYING WILDLIFE & NATURAL RESOURCES TO THE CLASSROOM (MSE 820.26): Wednesday through Friday, June 16-18, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. This graduate-level course is offered cooperatively through Lebanon Valley College and the Pennsylvania Game Commission and is part of the Lebanon Valley College Masters of Science Education program. It is designed to increase the knowledge base of educators in grades 3-12 regarding native Pennsylvania birds and mammals. Through both classroom and field studies, participants will develop strategies to enhance their student's learning of local ecosystems, wildlife species, habitat types and develop connections to address some of the science/technology and environment and ecology standards mandated by the state Department of Education. Field work will include explorations of various habitats, hands-on educational activities as well as actual banding of waterfowl with commission biologists. For more information or to register call (717) 867-6213, toll free at 1-877-877-0423, or online at continuing-education@lvc.edu. Registration deadline is June 7. Participants should bring a lunch and drink, binoculars, camera, rain coat and comfortable walking shoes.

PA Songbirds (2-day training): Pennsylvania Songbirds is a state-specific bird education program designed for K-12.  During this workshop, participants will explore background information of songbirds and their habitat and participate in hands-on activities about birds, bird ID, people and bird habitat. This workshop is for formal and non-formal educators who work with youth in K-7th grades.  This workshop will be held on Saturday, June 19 and 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, at Prince Gallitzin State Park, 966 Marina Road, Patton, Cambria County.   To register, please contact Intermediate Unit #8, 4500 Sixth Avenue, Altoona, at 814-940-0233. This workshop will earn educators IU Credit or Act 48 hours.

WILD ABOUT BEARS (2-day training): Educators will explore the world of the black bear and black bear research and management and have the opportunity to view black bears.  This workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, at the Game Commission Southwest Region Office at 4820 Route 711 in Bolivar, Westmoreland County.  Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress for the weather conditions as a portion of the class will be held outdoors.  To register, contact Intermediate Unit #1 in Coal Center at 724-938-8722 or www.solutionwhere.com.  This opportunity will earn educators IU Credit and ACT 48 hours.

WILD about Elk (2-day training):  This opportunity chronicles the history and management of elk in Pennsylvania. Meet with elk biologists, habitat managers and Wildlife Conservation Officers and go out to elk range to view habitat and hopefully see elk.  This workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, June 23, from 7 a.m. to noon.  On Thursday, lunch and dinner will be provided.  A small stipend reimbursement is available to help cover cost of travel.  On June 22, participants will meet at Parker Dam State Park in Clearfield County, and on June 23, participants will meet in Benezette Township, Elk County, at the Game Commission's elk viewing area on Winslow Hill on State Game Land 311.  If you are interested in receiving more information and a registration form, email Theresa Alberici at  talberici@state.pa.us, or call her at 717-787-1434.  Participants will earn Act 48 hours.

WONDERS OF WETLANDS (2-day workshop):  During this workshop the participants will see first hands the results of interagency cooperation in the construction of the Kirby Wetlands.  They will be introduced to water quality testing, wetlands ID, macro invertebrate study, flora and fauna ID and hands-on wildlife habitat projects. This workshop will be held on Monday and Tuesday, June 28-29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, at State Game Land 223 headquarters building at 480 Garards Fort Road in Waynesburg, Greene County.  This workshop is for formal and non-formal educators who work with youth in K-12 grades. Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress for the weather conditions as a portion of the class will be held outdoors.  To register, contact Intermediate Unit #1 in Coal Center at 724-938-8722 or www.iu1.k12.pa.us.  This workshop will earn educators IU Credit and ACT 48 hours.

WILD about Owls (1-day workshop): During this workshop, educators explore natural history and identification of Pennsylvania owls and have the opportunity to view barn owls being banded.  This workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, along Hopeland Road, just south of Kleinfeltersville, Lebanon County.  To register contact, contact the Middle Creek office at 717-733-1512. The registration deadline is June 10.   Please plan to bring a lunch and a drink, binoculars, camera, rain coat and comfortable walking shoes. This workshop will earn educators Act 48 hours.

WATERSHED EDUCATION (3-day training): This program is an educational, watershed-based, interdisciplinary curriculum for students in grades 6-12.  It will be held in the classroom on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29-30, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on the river on Thursday, July 1, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.  The classroom work will be conducted at the Olewine Nature Center in Wildwood Park, Harrisburg, and Thursday's trip will be on the nearby Susquehanna River. The program promotes classroom and field research, hands-on ecological investigations, networking, partnerships, stewardship and community service in an effort to produce environmentally literate students.  Watershed education also takes a comprehensive approach to learning, allowing students to analyze the effects both past and present factors may have on watersheds.  Bring lunch and come prepared for indoor and outdoor activities.  Canoes, life jackets and safety boaters will be provided.  To register, contact the Olewine Nature Center at 717-221-0292.  This workshop will earn educators ACT 48 hours.

JULY

FORESTRY FOR EDUCATORS: Wildwood Park and the Game Commission will offer a workshop for classroom and non-formal educators for children in grades 6-12 to focus on timber as a sustainable resource, as well as topics covering basic tree identification and backyard or school property woodlots. The program will be held on July 7, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., at the Olewine Nature Center, Wildwood Park in Harrisburg.  Curriculum manuals are provided by the Department of Education.  To register, contact the Olewine Nature Center at 717-221-0292.  This workshop will earn educators ACT 48 hours.

Project WILD (2-day workshop): During this workshop, participants will experience hands-on activities that help address Department of Education state standards. This workshop is for formal and non-formal educators who work with youth in K-7th grades. This workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, July 28 and 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days, at the Game Commission's Southwest Region Office, 4820 Route 711 in Bolivar, Westmoreland County.  To register, contact Westmoreland IU 7 in Greensburg at 724-836-2460 or www.wiu.k12.pa.us.  This opportunity will earn educators IU Credit and ACT 48 hours.

AUGUST

APPLYING WILDLIFE & NATURAL RESOURCES TO THE CLASSROOM (MSE 820.26): Tuesday through Thursday, August 17-19, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. This graduate level course is offered cooperatively through Lebanon Valley College and the Pennsylvania Game Commission and is part of the Lebanon Valley College Masters of Science Education program. It is designed to increase the knowledge base of educators in grades 4-12 regarding native Pennsylvania birds and mammals. Through both classroom and field studies, participants will develop strategies to enhance their student's learning of local ecosystems, wildlife species, habitat types and develop connections to address some of the science/technology and environment and ecology standards mandated by the state Department of Education. Field work will include explorations of various habitats, hands-on educational activities as well as actual banding of waterfowl with commission biologists. For more information or to register call (717) 867-6213, toll free at 1-877-877-0423, or online at continuing-education@lvc.edu. Registration deadline is June 7. Participants should bring a lunch and drink, binoculars, camera, rain coat and comfortable walking shoes.

Project WILD (1-day workshop): During this workshop, participants will experience hands-on activities that help address Department of Education state standards. This workshop is for formal and non-formal educators who work with youth in K-7th grades. This workshop will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Game Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Avenue.  There is no fee for workshop, and coffee will be provided in the morning.  However, participants should bring a lunch.  To register, email Theresa Alberici at talberici@state.pa.us or call her at 717-787-1434.  The deadline is June 10.  This workshop will earn educators Act 48 hours.

GROWING UP WILD! (1-day training): Early childhood educators can discover this new Project WILD program designed especially for those who teach children ages 3-7. The program will be held on Thursday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Monroe County Environmental Education Center, 8050 Running Valley Road, Stroudsburg. Through indoor and outdoor, hands-on activities, participants will learn about wildlife of Pennsylvania while exploring materials and methods to engage children in learning about the environment.  This program is offered in partnership with the Monroe County Conservation District. Registration deadline is Aug. 6. To register, contact Monroe County EE Center at 570-629-3061, e-mail to monroecd@ptd.net or visit the website (www.mcconservation.org). This workshop will earn educators Act 48 hours.

WILD about WATERFOWL (1-day training): This program represents another unique workshop opportunity for educators of those in grades 3-12.  It will be held on Aug. 24, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., at the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Klinefeltersville, Lebanon County.  Participants will be taught identification, habitat requirements, aging techniques, conservation measures and more!  A key component of this workshop will be time spent in the field with Game Commission personnel as they capture and band ducks.  The registration deadline is Aug. 6. To register, contact the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area at 717-733-1512. Plan to bring lunch, a drink, binoculars, camera, weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable hiking shoes and waders or rubber boots. This workshop will earn educators Act 48 hours.

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive Game Commission news releases via e-mail, please send a note with your name, address, telephone number and the name of the organization you represent to: PGCNews@state.pa.us

SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission



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