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During the month of May 2021, 27 educators from eight districts across the state attended a three-day online workshop, Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Urban Forestry, with Pacific Education Institute’s FieldSTEM Coordinators Molly Griffiths and Megan Rivard along with PEI teacher leaders Sam Fulton and Nate Ziegler.

To begin the workshop series, participants learned about the ClimeTime proviso and PEI’s storyline project. Educators participated in a grounding activity outside before hearing from Katie Kosanke, Urban Forester, from the City of Spokane. Katie provided participants with basic forestry information, tree benefits in the urban setting and how trees are a solution to climate change. After Katie’s presentation, educators took time to survey trees in their area; teachers gathered data on how many trees, types of trees, and what benefits they could be providing.

The second session started with teachers discussing their Indigenous connections assignment, researching their local tribal nations and considering how they could incorporate into their teaching in a responsive and respectful way. Next teachers explored the i-Tree tool using data collected from a tree they previously surveyed. Participants also learned about forestry, natural resources, and outdoor recreation job opportunities that connect with urban forestry.

In the last session, participants looked at the i-Tree data from the previous session on a shared map and debriefed what they learned and how this could be used with students. Teachers were also engaged in discussions around science education and three-dimensional formative assessments. Participants were introduced to PEI’s Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Urban Forestry to teach climate science in developmentally appropriate, locally relevant ways. A key moment was when two high school teachers worked together to craft a land acknowledgment for their area! After the workshop, a participant shared this sentiment, ”The storyline was engaging and rich with resources. I am excited to use this storyline in my teaching next year!”

PEI will be publishing the Urban Forestry storylines on our website and on the ClimeTime OER group in June 2021.