During the week of June 9th, 2020, 30 middle school and high school teachers from across Washington attended an online workshop series, Solutions Oriented Learning Fire: Forest Management and Skills, with Pacific Education Institute’s FieldSTEM Coordinator, Mike Nepean, and PEI Faculty, Michelle Townshend and Randy James. During the workshop educators experienced the middle and high school Fire storylines including the matchstick forest demonstration and learning about ember behavior.
This workshop was facilitated in a distance learning environment and these activities demonstrated opportunities for engaging students virtually. Another exciting component of this workshop series was the collaboration with Dana Bowers from the Stevens County Conservation District. Dana brought real-world application-based learning to the workshop by integrating work with compasses, tree identification guides and dichotomous keys.
After the workshop, one participant wrote in their evaluation what they are most likely to use in their classroom next year, “The labs! Love the ideas for how to get the students up and moving, even if we do not start school in person for next year. Really helps to practice it.” By learning with community partners, modeling distance learning and providing time for educators to plan with other educators; PEI ensures that teachers walk away from workshops with something they can implement with students immediately!