By Kim Scotto-Kelly
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Project Learning Tree (PLT), an international environmental education program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, is committed to creating a future where the next generation values the natural world and has the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions and take responsible actions to sustain forests and the broader environment.
This summer, Florida PLT, housed in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, will be offering their award-winning professional development training experience online. The training equips teachers, counselors, youth-group leaders, home-school parents, and others working with youth with tools to facilitate hands-on lessons about the environment.
PLT activities aim to increase understanding of our complex environment and stimulate creative and critical thinking. According to a survey of use conducted in 2018 by PEER Associates, educators that use PLT report that it is a major contributor to increased environmental content knowledge, increased engagement in learning, and better performance on science-related learning standards. As one Florida teacher said, “This training provided me with activities that I’m positive will engage my students.”
PLT activities incorporate reading and writing, scientific investigations, and technology and engineering principles through problem solving opportunities, teaching students how to think, not what to think.
“Florida PLT is excited to offer a virtual professional development training experience this summer,” said Jessica Ireland, Florida PLT program coordinator. “PLT’s activities use the environment to engage youth in learning both outside and indoors, and we look forward to providing educators with PLT’s multi-disciplinary, hands-on activities and opportunities to discuss and explore ideas for adapting for specific audiences and contexts.”
The virtual professional development training experience will take place in two parts:
- A 2-hour live webinar featuring guest speakers, activities, and group discussion about how to engage learners (offered Jun. 24, Jun. 30, or Jul. 7; all 10am-12pm.)
- An online training to be completed at the participant’s own pace.
Upon completion, all participants will be awarded a certificate and a copy of the PLT PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide.
For more information and to register, see the flyer here.