During the week of April 18th, 2020, 23 teachers from across Western Washington attended an online workshop series, Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Wildfires in Washington, with Pacific Education Institute’s FieldSTEM Coordinators Julie Tennis and Hattie Osborne. The workshop began by honoring the indigenous perspective of forest health and the role of fire, followed by participant engagement in an activity designed to encourage research of their local tribal nations.
Educators received climate science content about wildfires; the science of fire, the fire triangle and the value of prescribed burns as a management tool. The series included a presentation from Jeff Bortner, the Fire and Forest Health District Manager for Pacific Cascade Region for Department of Natural Resources, regarding wildfire behavior and the importance of prescribed burns in reducing catastrophic wildfires.
Finally, educators learned more about teaching science through phenomena and were introduced to PEI’s Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Wildfires in Washington to teach climate science in developmentally appropriate, locally relevant ways. After the workshop, a participant shared this sentiment, “I really like making the content local, current, and relevant. I want to use solutions-based lessons.” PEI was happy to make this workshop and resources available to a wide audience online during these challenging times.