EarthPLAY for Earth Day 2017
Presenters: Deb Doncaster and Brenda Simon
Wednesday, March 22nd 2017 7:30-8:30pm EST
Join Deb and Brenda as they walk through the highlights of EarthPLAY for Earth Day, a program focused on improving play opportunities for young people in schools and other community spaces. Hear more about the building movement to “reclaim recess” at schools and listen to testimonials from a local principal and teacher who’ve witnessed their students’ classroom behaviour, mental health and social interactions change for the better, thanks to enriched outdoor play programming. Recess, lunch-hour and after-school is often the only time children have available for outdoor, unstructured, self-directed play. However, a large percentage of schools have been limiting outdoor time due to cold/rainy weather, changes in learning priorities, concerns around perceived risk, etc. In Canada, only 9% of children receive the recommended one hour of physical activity per day. The statistics for other western countries are likely similar, but either way, it highlights a situation that we must all work on to improve, and schools are a great place to start. There’s also lots of opportunity for better play in our local parks and neighbourhoods, even on our streets!
Deb Doncaster has dedicated more than 25 years to the fields of human rights, animal welfare, environmental conservation, planning and stewardship, and green energy. She was a leader in the development of Canada’s first community-owned, utility-scale wind turbine on the Toronto Waterfront and spearheaded several organizations, coalitions and campaigns resulting in the establishment of the Ontario Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, the Green Energy and Economy Act, the Community Energy Partnership Program and the Aboriginal Energy Partnership Programs. In recognition of her leadership, she was awarded with the Market Transformation Award from the City of Toronto’s Green Toronto Awards, in 2009. Brenda Simon is a graduate of the law and environmental studies program at York University and later studied education at the University of Toronto. She has worked as a human rights lawyer, a co-op housing developer, and in community education. Brenda has conducted extensive research in the profession of playwork, play policy, and planning, and piloted POP-UP Adventure Play in Toronto for two years before joining Earth Day Canada as the Director of Play Programs.
To Unplug or Plug In
Presenters: Justin Hougham and Steve Kerlin
Monday, March 27th 7:30-8:30pm EST
While the right mobile digital technologies can do much to enhance environmental education, it is important to take time to review and select both the technology and the apps that will work best for your educational situation. Our two presenters will walk you through the steps, and thereby avoid the common pitfalls.
Justin Hougham is faculty at the University of Wisconsin- Extension where he supports the delivery of a wide range of science education topics to K-12 students, graduate students, and in-service teachers. Justin’s scholarship is in the areas of place-based pedagogies, STEM education, AL, and education for sustainability. Justin has taught 17 different undergraduate and graduate courses as well as instructed over 1000 days in the field. He continues to teach courses, clinics, and trainings that develop pedagogies in experiential education. Steve Kerlin is the Director of Education at the Stroud Water Research Center near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was formerly an assistant professor of science and environmental education at U of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point and Northern Kentucky U. Before that, he was a middle and high school science teacher in Pennsylvania.
Time to Depave Paradise?
Presenter: Alix Taylor
Wednesday, April 12th 2017 7:30-8:30pm EST
There is a new movement afoot in communities across North America. Communities are coming together to remove unwanted pavement and creating vibrant green spaces. The hands-on depaving process captures the hearts and energy of volunteers who work together to make schoolyards and neighbourhoods more livable and resilient. In her presentation, Alix will tell us more about the depave movement, and indicate what one needs to get involved in this important greening initiative.
Alix Taylor is Green Communities Canada’s Water Programs and Communications Manager, and is responsible for overseeing Depave Paradise, Canada’s depave initiative. Alix has been involved in environmental engagement activities for over a decade, her current focus is on water issues, both urban and rural. She is the author of “Put Up A Paradise”, the cover story in the Winter 2016 issue of Green Teacher magazine.
Best Practices in School Gardens
Presenter: Mary Dudley
Wednesday, September 27th 2017, 7:30-8:30pm EST
To overcome the challenges and be successful, you need to keep a few basic principles in mind. Doing so will add to the overall sustainability of a garden and allow for the school community to participate in the project. Based on several years of research and experience with dozens of school gardens, Mary and her colleagues will share their list of basic steps and best practices for school gardens.
Mary Dudley is the Youth Education Coordinator at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati in Ohio. She has worked with school garden initiatives since 2008 in both temperate and subtropical climates. Mary holds a Master’s Degree in Botany. Covering the same ground as this webinar, Green Teacher published an article by Mary in Green Teacher 109, the Fall 2016 issue.
Eco-System Monitoring Programs
Presenter: Daniel Shaw
Wednesday, October 25th 2017, 7:30-8:30pm EST
From climate change to natural disasters: how tiny critters invoke joy and reveal environmental secrets. There are many species of wildlife that school age citizen scientists can monitor. But most scatter when humans are around. By contrast, arthopods – animals with jointed legs and no backbones – are abundant, diverse and found in all types of habitats. Building on his article in Green Teacher’s Summer 2016 issue, Dan will share the techniques he has used for 20 years to engage students in authentic field-based data collection. He’ll also explain how to add their findings to the databases of citizen science programs so that the students’ work will have meaning beyond their own classrooms.
Daniel Shaw teaches at the Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along with his students, his research includes radio-collaring porcupines, habitat issues in urban landscapes, and threats to amphibian survival. His publications include Southwest Aquatic Habitats: On the Trail of Fish in a Desert and Eco-tracking: On the Trail of Habitat Change, both of which were published by UNM Press. Learn more about the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program at www.bemp.org.