OLYMPIA, Wash., Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today a joint work session was held with three legislative committees to investigate how to deliver environmental science education to all children in Washington State. A panel of leaders from the Pacific Education Institute (PEI) presented a solution before three House committees, Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, House Agriculture and Natural Resources and House Education Committee. PEI provides rich learning experiences for children using the outdoors as a classroom, with a goal of ensuring every student has access to cost-effective, scientifically based education to meet Field Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) objectives. PEI's FieldSTEM program enables school districts to meet state expectations for Common Core subjects of reading, writing and math, and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-WA 35th District), chaired the hour-long session which focused on how to build environmental education into our basic education system, and bring FieldSTEM to every child in Washington State. The session also included a presentation from the Educational Service Districts, and Executive Director of the Squaxin Island Tribe Museum, Charlene Krise.
"We have proven that students succeed academically by learning outdoors. We empower teachers to use science outdoors and want to capture students' interest in science through the environment. PEI brings low-cost science to the schools to create equity in access for all students," said PEI Executive Director, Margaret Tudor.
Bill Dewey, Shellfish Farmer and Manager of Public Policy, Taylor Shellfish Company, participates in PEI through tours and by incorporating FieldSTEM lessons from PEI. Dewey said, "Taylor Shellfish shows the real-world application of science, technology, engineering and math to students through tours and in-class visits. As a company we are very committed to this education, teaching students about ecosystem services, human health issues, water quality, and the value of the industry to the local economy."
"The forest industry is an important part of our state's economy. We want students to learn about the forestry business in a real-world context, not simply through stories they might read on the internet. The future workers for our natural resource businesses are in school today, and PEI is helping to train our future workforce," said Cindy Mitchell, Sr. Director of Public Affairs, Washington Forest Protection Association.
"There are multiple pathways for students to learn. PEI brings the world of work back into the classroom, so students that participate in PEI know why math and science are important. They know that there is a place for them in the workforce," said Cindy Zehnder, PEI Board member and Vice President Governmental Affairs, Gordon Thomas Honeywell.
To watch the hearing click here on TVW.
About the Washington Forest Protection Association. Founded in 1908, WFPA is a trade association representing private forest landowners in Washington State. Our members are large and small companies, individuals, and families who grow, harvest, and re-grow trees on about 4 million acres. Forestry provides more than 107,000 family wage jobs in the state. www.wfpa.org
About the Pacific Education Institute. Founded 2003, PEI proves that students succeed academically by learning outdoors. PEI is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help teachers, through rigorous academic FieldSTEM programs, educate the future stewards and leaders of our natural resource environment. www.pacificeducationinstitute.org
SOURCE Washington Forest Protection Association