WK 6 - Strategies to Engage Middle and High School Students in Ecological Learning

Saturday, August 5, 2017: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
A107, Oregon Convention Center
Anthony D. Matthys, Michigan Technological University
Brenda Gail Bergman, Michigan Technological University; Candace Galen, University of Missouri-Columbia; and Kim Bjogo-Thorne, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Explore proven activities that engage students in ecology, even when class periods are short and access to the outdoors is limited, derived from a NGSS aligned Middle School unit. The unit puts students in the role of natural resource managers who work to mitigate the impact of invasive species. Workshop participants will experience components of the activities to see how they can be translated into their classroom or science education programs. The activities feature:

  • First-hand encounters: Students experience how access to resources limits both individual and population growth (LS2-1).
  • Key concepts in ecology: Students explore interactions like predation, competition, and mutualism, and identify patterns of interactions across ecosystems (LS2-2) . Students simulate the impacts of abiotic disruptions like weather and changing climate, and predict the impacts of biotic disruptions like invasive species on ecosystems (LS2-4).
  • Decision-making: Students use their ecological knowledge to choose among competing management strategies and prioritize management of an invasive species using an engineering tool (ETS1-2).
  • Research-based techniques to promote student engagement.

Participants will work through the activities step-by-step. They will discuss with ecologists,science educators, and each other how the activities can be customized to take advantage of local resources or environmental scenarios making learning more relatable to students’ lives. The overall goal is to help students identify as scientists by making observations and proposing solutions to real problems in their local environment. Leaders will work with participants to identify ways that the ESA can best support teachers in facilitating ecological education with youth.

Registration Fee: $25

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