Pa. State Park’s education staff offers teacher workshops on topics ranging from watersheds to snowshoeing for teachers in parks throughout the state. Our workshops are open to formal and non-formal classroom teachers, environmental educators, homeschool parents, scout leaders and more.
Go here to find a scheduled workshop near you.
Why should you attend a teacher workshop?
All of the curriculum materials listed below are available only through free or low-cost professional development workshops. This way, we ensure the highest quality experience, while also fulfilling existing needs for continuing education credits, in-service trainings, or Act 48 hours. Studies show that the activities modeled in our workshops are the ones educators later use in their programming.
Through a teacher workshop you can:
- Learn how to incorporate hands-on, minds-on activities into your current and future lesson plans and curriculum.
- Meet other professionals in your area interested or already involved in environmental education.
- Become part of a network that offers you follow-up resources and engagement opportunities.
The following curriculums were developed by the Pa. Bureau of State Parks:
- PA Land Choices – an educational program to help teachers gain an understanding about land use and provide engaging activities for students in grades 6-12. It addresses state and national academic standards.
- Watershed Education (WE) – an award-winning curriculum that is being implemented in middle and high schools throughout the state. This interdisciplinary, action-oriented education program for grades 6-12 promotes investigation, research and decision-making skills through comprehensive exploration of watersheds. Virtually all aspects of a watershed including ecological health, cultural history, industry, land use, hydrology and economics, are introduced during this course. This comprehensive study provides the opportunity to address Pennsylvania academic standards in environment and ecology, science and technology, math and social studies education.
- GO Teach: Hiking, Snowshoeing and GPS – Go Teach Workshops are a series of trainings that provide teachers with the skills and background knowledge for a variety of recreational activities. There are currently three cross-curricular workshops which explore hiking, snowshoeing and geocaching while also correlating with the current academic standards. These workshops aim to expose Pennsylvania’s youth to healthy lifelong physical activities while creating a sense of responsibility and stewardship to protect the natural resources of the commonwealth.
These curriculums are sponsored by the Pa. Bureau of State Parks:
- Project Learning Tree (PLT) – an award-winning environmental education program which focuses on trees and forests. It is designed for educators who are working with youth from preschool through grade 12. Upper grade levels offer in-depth learning modules on topics such as Biodiversity, Energy & Society, and more.
- Pennsylvania Songbirds – a state-specific curriculum aimed at both formal and non-formal teachers of grades K-12. Participants will explore background information of songbirds and participate in hands-on activities focusing on birds, bird identification, people, and bird habitat.
- Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) – The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators and communities of the world with water education. The cornerstone of the Project WET curriculum is its methodology of teaching about water resources through hands-on, investigative, easy-to-use activities.
Environmental Educator staff in the Pa. Bureau of State Parks also offer teacher workshops using the following curriculums & topics:
- Project WILD
- Growing UP WILD
- Pennsylvania Reptiles & Amphibians (partnership with the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission)
- Boating & Water Safety Awareness (BWSA) (partnership with the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission)
- Tree & Wildflower Identification
Envirothon – Are you leading an Envirothon team at your school? Call your local Pa. state park environmental educator to book a training session for your Envirothon team. Find a park with an educator on staff here.
What is the Envirothon?
Hundreds of teachers and professionals throughout Pennsylvania guide high school students through this natural resource environmental education program that combines classroom learning and outdoor activities. This exposure to nature and seeing how humans impact the natural world provide invaluable lessons for understanding ecosystems and our environment.
At the Envirothon, teams of five high school students compete in field testing using their knowledge in five topic areas – Soils and Land Use, Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Wildlife, and Environmental Issues. A current environmental issue is chosen each year as the “hot topic.”
For more information on the PA Envirothon, go here.