MI: DNR Teams Up With Educators to Bring Opportunities to Youth
The Department of Natural Resources invites educators to take advantage of the variety of high-quality programs and resources offered by the department year-round. The following DNR programs are available to formal educators working in the classroom, as well as non-formal educators working in local parks and youth-oriented organizations, and home school parents.
DNR Education Services Manager Kevin Frailey called the department’s outreach programs “a terrific way for teachers of all age groups to incorporate important science, natural resources and history lessons into their classrooms – lessons that match up very nicely with the state’s curriculum guidelines.”
Portage Northern Middle School teacher Andy Blackman agreed, citing the real-world classroom benefits and valuable impact of programs like Salmon in the Classroom. “My students love this project,” he said. “The first stop when they come into the room is to check on [the salmon] development!”
Most programs are correlated to the appropriate Grade Level Content Expectations and some include teacher resource kits. Scholarships and equipment grants are available for some programs. Be sure to check each program’s Web page for more details, including program dates, registration and fees.
National Archery in the Schools: Physical education teachers become basic archery instructors and introduce target archery in physical education classes.
Explore Bowhunting: Educators learn how to implement an outdoor conservation education program in which students learn to interact with the natural world by developing basic skills used to bowhunt.
Field Trip Ideas
Visitor Centers, Fish Hatcheries, Historic Sites and Museums: More than a dozen locations throughout the state offer educational programs for teachers and students. Each location offers topics designed to educate visitors about that specific site’s features and history.
Salmon in the Classroom: Teachers attend a one-day workshop in the fall to learn how to raise Chinook salmon in their classroom. Students release the salmon into a nearby river in the spring.
Big History Lesson: Teachers learn about the Michigan Historical Museum and its resources to develop a unit of study, including activities, resources and museum support needed to bring their students back to the museum for their own Big History Lesson week. The workshop emphasizes object-based learning, thematic study and the use of community resources as teaching and learning tools.
Explore Mackinac’s History and Nature: Mackinac State Historic Parks offers lesson plans, online educational opportunities for children and teachers, artifact box loans, in-classroom program visits, on-site overnight and evening programs and historic site tours.
Project Learning Tree: A program of the American Forest Foundation, PLT provides environmental and outdoor education materials and training designed around hands-on activities for pre-K through 12th grade.
Project WILD: Teachers attend a one-day workshop to learn how to involve youth in environmental and conservation awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources.
A Healthy Variety of Topics
Academy of Natural Resources: Educators attend a five-day workshop during the summer to learn about Michigan's diverse natural resources, discover current trends in their management and experience activities that bring this knowledge to the classroom.
For more information on all of these workshops and programs or to join the DNR Programs for Educators mailing list, visit www.michigan.gov/dnrteachers.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.