In 2016, there was a 4th grade science teacher named Mary who had a class of 22 students. She wanted to do more interactive activities in her class but most science activity kits did not fit into her budget. She was frustrated and was wondering how she could get her students involved in science classes. When she received the email notification about the science teachers training – Exploring Water Education Curricula—taught by the UF/IFAS Extension Community Resource Efficiency Agent, she was the first one to sign up for it. Mary was very pleased to have attended this two-day training. She learned how to observe the water cycle in a sandwich bag; how to illustrate the components of an aquifer; how to incorporate math into water conservation practices; and more. She said: “I can’t wait to go back to school and show my students these activities. They require minimum preparation and cost. I can just use my kitchen supplies.”
Mary was one of the 22 teachers participating in the training program. Based on the program evaluation surveys, all of participants indicated that they “have improved the understanding of water education curricula as a result of this workshop” and would “share the information with other teachers and students.” These teachers will reach a total of 1,122 students from 2nd to 8th grade during the 2016 school year. Research indicates that the train-the-trainer approach creates a multiplier effect, expanding the overall impacts of the program to reach greater numbers of people. Training the science teachers enables extension to reach greater numbers K-12 students in a more time efficient way.